Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Ceisteanna - Questions

International Terrorism

2:15 pm

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Mayo, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I agree with Deputy Martin's comments on the speech by President Obama. I listened to the speech, which was clear, well measured and has been a stabilising influence. People should read it. I also agree with Deputy Martin in respect of comments which have been made in America that engender fear and hatred in people. This is contrary to Irish law and not acceptable. The Deputy made a very valid point about radicalisation and the threat for so many people arising from this. I understand that the way that this operates now, it can happen online and that those who may be radicalised or driven to murderous activities may never have to visit the country from where that comes in the first instance. I agree and have said at the European Council on many occasions that all of the problems which have afflicted many European countries are a result of the root cause of the Syrian conflict and the external issues to Syria in Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Kurdish areas in five nations and that these are issues which are often not explored in the depth one might like at the European Council due to time constraints. One relies on reports from the High Representative and different countries. We can all understand the implications of the entire populations of Munster and Connaught dropping everything in the course of any one week and walking to Derry or Belfast to get a boat to England, Scotland or wherever. The arrival of so many people who conducted ordinary lives before that brings to light the point the Deputy makes about what forced emigration really means. We have tried to play our part in that while we are not a member of that formal protocol.

Deputy Adams mentioned the relocation and resettlement programme. We had a number of statements in the House about that previously. We have called consistently for an approach which addresses the root cause of this. The Minister of State, Deputy Stanton, will deal with it in some further detail. Under Protocol 21, Ireland can choose to participate in any justice and home affairs measure under Title 5 of the relevant treaty. We chose to put a figure of 4,000 in terms of people in need of international protection. It should be noted that the programme was due to run until the end of 217, but it will be extended because of delays in the arrival of people. Our immediate priority is to implement the measures in regard to relocation, which relates to people who are currently within the European Union, in particular Italy and Greece, and resettlement, which refers to refugees or asylum seekers who are currently outside the European Union. As such, one has relocation and resettlement. Progress on resettlement has been reasonable. We have already taken in more than half, or 273, of what we pledged under this and are on course to reach our target of 520 refugees by the end of the year. On relocation, progress has been very slow, as it has been for all other partners, for reasons outside our control, including operational and administrative difficulties.


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