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'I need a bit of help from people in this House,' the Taoiseach said yesterday, appealing to TDs to set out the facts about migration and how it works. Alamy Stock Photo

FG politicians given international protection info sheet as Varadkar appeals for help setting out facts

The Q&A includes a diagram outlining how the international protection system works via a diagram/flow chart.

FINE GAEL POLITICIANS were given a fact sheet on international protection at their weekly meeting last night. 

The Q&A style document includes a diagram outlining how the international protection system works via a diagram/flow chart. 

It also explains Ireland’s deportation system and the checks that are conducted on IP applicants. 

The fact sheet also sets out what Ireland’s legal obligation is, what entitlements do applicants have, while also addressing the question as to whether Ireland are accepting more IP applications than the EU average. 

The document was distributed to politicians after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appeared frustrated at some of the comments made during a discussion on immigration yesterday in the Dáil whereby he responded by saying he will continue to set out the facts about the country’s migration policy.

He also pleaded with TDs, saying: “But I need a bit of help.  I need a bit of help from people in this House.” 

The fact sheet sets out the checks that are carried out on IP applicants, setting out that each person is fingerprinted and photographed.

“Fingerprints are checked against EURODAC, an EU immigration database, which will flag anyone who has crossed borders illegally. To get refugee status or permission to Remain in Ireland, character and conduct checks are also carried by An Garda Síochána,” states the document. 

It also states that there has been an increase of international applications across the world, not just in Ireland.

“The reasons are really complex but essentially there are more and more people who are the victims of global conflicts, of persecution and human rights violations.

“To put the numbers here in Ireland into some sort of context, across the wider EU there were well over a million asylum applications last year. Here in Ireland we only had around 1.2% of those. Roughly about 13,000 people,” states the document to TDs and senators. 

Is Ireland receiving more IP application than the EU average? The document sets out that “the short answer is ‘no, not really’”. 

In 2023, there were approximately 13,200 applications for International Protection, the fact sheet says. 

A table in the document also shows how Ireland compares to other EU countries, setting out the percentages of applicants that were given refugee status or another permission to remain in Ireland last year. 

During the the Fine Gael meeting last night, Varadkar addressed speculation that student accommodation might be used to house international protection applicants. 

The Taoiseach said he did not want to see any in use student accommodation or nursing homes or other amenities repurposed for IP accommodation.

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris also made similar comments during the week stating that he did not see the reasoning in creating another problem while attempting to solve another.