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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 19 August, 2019
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Another 22 Syrian families have been relocated to Ireland today

They come here under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.

The reception centre in Ballaghaderreen
The reception centre in Ballaghaderreen
Image: RollingNews.ie

FORTY-SEVEN ADULTS and 58 children have today officially moved to Ireland from Syria, via a refugee camp in Lebanon. 

The 22 families were formally welcomed to the country by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan this morning. 

They had been living in the UNHCR refugee camp in Lebanon since fleeing the conflict in Syria. Their first residence will be in the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre at Ballaghaderreen in Roscommon. Following a period there, they will move to more permanent housing in communities across the country. 

“During this festive period, as we enjoy spending time with our own families, it is important to remember that many families across the world have been forcibly displaced from their homes by war and protracted crises,” Flanagan said in a statement today.

“Under our national resettlement programme, working closely with the UNHCR, we prioritise those who are most vulnerable and provide a durable solution to enable them to rebuild their lives in safety and security, here in Ireland. The families that have arrived today are very welcome. They will now have time to rest and recover and to focus on their future in their new home.”

Today’s 105 refugees join 97 other people who were resettled here last week. A total of 202 people, including 109 children, have been settled in Ireland under the programme during December. The majority of the 97 moved to Mosney, but some have been accommodated in Clonea, Co Waterford.

“The people of Ballaghaderreen have come together to create a welcoming and supportive environment for refugee families who have experienced great trauma,” junior minister David Stanton said today.

“It is a model that I would like to see embraced in communities right across the country.  Integration is a powerful tool in assimilating our new communities and assisting them to engage in all areas of Irish society, from schools, to sports, to employment. I know that the families who have arrived today will be warmly welcomed by the local community and we will ensure that they are provided with all of the necessary supports.”

The IRPP was established in September 2015 after Ireland agreed to accept up to 4,000 asylum seekers and refugees as its response to the growing migration crisis in southern Europe.

Since then, 2,159 asylum seekers and refugees have been admitted to Ireland under the scheme, by way of relocation from Greece or resettlement from Lebanon. 

War has raged in Syria since March 2011, killing almost half a million people and displacing 12 million more from their homes. Almost half of that 12 million have left the country entirely. 

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