Dáil debates

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Topical Issue Debate

Refugee Numbers

3:00 pm

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, United Left) | Oireachtas source

I welcome that we are taking 300 refugees; I am sorry it is not more. I hope the Minister and the Government will proactively consider and argue that we should take more when the EU moves to deal with these tens of thousands of people who are incarcerated in holding centres, particularly in Greece and Italy.

The real issue is what condition those people will be in when they come to Ireland.

Are we going to treat them as citizens with respect and dignity or will they be thrown into direct provision centres with others who have desperately sought asylum here?

We have looked at this debate the wrong way around because it is not about charity or our being nice. Refugees do not want sympathy or tears; they want us to stop facilitating the reasons that made them refugees in the first place. Unless we address these issues, we will be faced with this crisis for years to come.

A report published at the end of April by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reveals that the . By funding privatisations, land grabs and dams, by backing companies and governments accused of rape, murder and torture, and by putting $50 billion into projects graded highest risk for irreversible and unprecedented social impacts, the World Bank has massively contributed to the flow of impoverished people across the globe. If we are serious about stopping and assisting people, the first thing we could do is start dealing with the World Bank, IMF and other research institutions. The second thing we could do is stop being complicit and backing NATO and US imperialists in bombing the Middle East, particularly Libya and Syria. This has generated the beginnings of Isis. A key reason a flood of refugees and immigrants are desperately seeking a future in Europe is that the United States and NATO have destroyed their countries, families and livelihoods. It is not about charity or about our being nice; it is about us making amends in some way for activities in which we are complicit by allowing Shannon Airport to be used.


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