Enda Kenny insists Ireland will meet its refugee resettlement targets

The comments come despite the country resettling less than 20% of its target so far

Enda Kenny insists Ireland will meet its refugee resettlement targets

Taoiseach Enda Kenny | File photo: RollingNews.ie

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is insisting Ireland will meet its targets for resettling refugees before the end of the year. 

Speaking during Pre-European Council Statements in the Dáil this afternoon, he confirmed that Ireland has accepted 69 refugees so far, having agreed to relocate 353.

"There has been good progress in the resettlement of refugees from outside the Union to date," he says, adding that Ireland will also meet its targets for Lebanon. 

Four adults and a three year old child were found in a shipping container in a haulage yard in Wexford on Sunday evening. It is believed that they reached Ireland on a ferry and as of yet it is unclear where their journey to Ireland began.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams challenged the Taoiseach today over his commitment to aiding the refugees crisis.

"In the Programme for Government, the government states that it will ‘offer safe haven for refugees under EU and UN resettlement and relocation programmes," he said in a statement. "In truth, there has been precious little evidence of the government providing a ‘safe haven’ in the last few years despite the huge crisis of refugees fleeing war and famine and poverty from the Middle East and north Africa."

The Irish Refugee Council said the discovery highlights the need for safe and legal avenues to safety for refugees.

"Until we see more proactive responses and solutions which open up safe and legal ways for people to escape persecution we will continue to see people making these types of journeys," Caroline Reid, Communications Officer for the Irish Refugee Council said.