550 refugees and asylum seekers have arrived in Ireland so far this year

Ireland has pledged to accept 4,000 people before the end of 2017 as part of EU efforts to tackle the migration crisis

550 refugees and asylum seekers have arrived in Ireland so far this year

Frances Fitzgerald. Image: RollingNews.ie

The Government says 550 refugees and asylum seekers have arrived in Ireland so far this year.

The Tánaiste and Immigration Minister have today published an update on the progress made in the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.

Ireland has pledged to accept 4,000 people by the end of 2017, with 2,622 to be taken in from Greece and Italy under the EU relocation scheme.

More than 1,300 people are expected to arrive in 2017, with Frances Fitzgerald saying that number is likely to 'significantly increase' when Ireland makes further pledges and commitments next year.

Minister Fitzgerald said: "The resettlement of refugees from Lebanon will be delivered ahead of target by Ireland. Ireland has made a further commitment of 260 refugees for 2017 and I am actively considering another substantial pledge.

"While the relocation programme from Greece has been slower to progress, significant numbers of asylum seekers are now beginning to arrive in Ireland from Greece," she added.

Minister of State David Stanton - who has special responsibility for Equality, Immigration, and Integration, observed: “It is now abundantly clear that the people arriving to-date under have suffered greatly and are made up of people fleeing civil war and conflict [...] This is a terribly vulnerable group that need all our help and assistance.”