Anyone who looked at the image of that 3 year old refugee boy lying dead on a beach in Turkey couldn’t but be moved by it and I am in full support of Ireland playing it’s part in accommodating these refugees as part of the response to this major crisis. However it should not be left to a few countries to have to deal with and pay for this problem. This is a worldwide crisis and the USA and Germany have huge roles to play in all this. Most of the people who are trying to get away from the trouble spots and in Africa and the Middle East are fleeing war zones, and most of the weapons that are being used in all these conflicts were supplied by the USA, and to a lesser extent Germany. They have a huge responsibility to step up to the plate in this issue and the United Nations have a role to play in telling the USA and others to play their part in accepting refugees, and help to fund the other countries who are doing so. Ireland should also play it’s part. Many years ago millions of our people had to flee these shores because of famine and war and they were taken in by other countries. I realise that we have major problems here with homelessness and housing but we can address all these problems and show that we are a humanitarian and caring people too.
I and my colleagues in the Independent Alliance will be in Dublin on Monday to highlight this crisis and we will be putting pressure on the Government to ensure that Ireland leads the way on this issue. We will be looking for the support of the public on this because the reality is that this is going to be an ongoing problem for the next four or five years at least. The most important thing that can be done in the long term to solve this refugee crisis is for these conflicts and wars to be stopped and resolved and for peace to return to these various countries. We have to put pressure on world leaders to actually go out and solve these conflicts whatever it takes and not be on the media waffling about how bad the situation is. The time for action is now