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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 15 June 2021

Up to 2,900 refugees will be given sanctuary in Ireland over the next four years

3,151 people have arrived to Ireland through a refugee programme since 2015.

Charlie Flanagan at a Christmas party in a direct provision centre in Co Laois in 2017.
Charlie Flanagan at a Christmas party in a direct provision centre in Co Laois in 2017.
Image: Eamonn Farrell

UP TO 2,900 refugees will be welcomed to Ireland over the next four years through an updated protection programme in place since 2015. 

A new phase of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) will see 650 refugees settle in the country next year, 700 in 2021, 750 in 2022 and 800 in 2023. 

The Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said it is “only right and proper” for Ireland to play its part and help out those “less fortunate than ourselves”.  

“This [will] build on the work we have been doing since 2015 to resettle thousands of people,” said Flanagan.

“I’m proud that as a dedicated and active member of the international community, we continue to uphold our responsibilities in helping those fleeing the most harrowing circumstances including war and persecution.”

The IRPP was initially set up in 2015 to respond to the refugee crisis. It committed Ireland to accept 4,000 people through different ways including an EU relocation mechanism. 

3,151 people have arrived under this programme so far since 2015, including 51 who arrived today. 

In 2020 and 2021, Syrian refugees who had been in Jordan and Lebanon will be the main arrival, along with a pilot group of 150 Eritrean refugees who had been resident in Ethiopia.

The European Commission will give €9 million in funding to help with the 900 people who will resettle in Ireland between early 2020 and June 2021.  

In a statement, the Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton said the government wants to ensure refugees who arrive in Ireland feel “fully integrated into the community”. 

“It is important that Ireland continues to play its part in acting as a safe haven for people in need of protection and humanitarian support,” he said. 

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