Government commits to relocating 200 unaccompanied child refugees from Calais in Ireland

It comes following the closure of the controversial 'Jungle' camp

Government commits to relocating 200 unaccompanied child refugees from Calais in Ireland

Activists outside the Dáil during a vigil on November 2nd. Image: Stedman Photography

Up to 200 unaccompanied child refugees from Calais are to be relocated here.

The government made the commitment as the Dáil accepted a motion on the closure of the former 'Jungle' camp.

So far, 109 refugees from Greece have been relocated to Ireland.

UCD lecturer and spokesperson for the Irish Association of Social Workers, Dr Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, says the commitment is welcome news.

"The [IASW] really welcomes this commitment by the government," she said.

"Obviously it has resource implications for Tusla," she explained. "It is imperative that Tusla is properly funded to meet the needs of these young people. But I think by being innovative and creative Tusla can step up to the mark and can provide really good care.

"We have one of the best systems in Europe for the care of unaccompanied refugee children," she added.

The motion was also welcomed by TDs.

Kathleen Funchion of Sinn Féin said: "It was passed unanimously this afternoon and is the result of tireless campaigning by Irish volunteers and activists who have shone a light on the issue and brought it to the Houses of the Oireachtas."

A candle-lit vigil calling for the government to take in more children took place outside Leinster House last week.