3 June 1997
Adams calls for compassion and resources for refugees
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP today called on the government to make an immediate commitment to give adequate finance to provide the necessary services and infrastructure to assist those seeking asylum in this country.
Mr. Adams said:
``When considering the issue of the arrival of refugees in Ireland I would call on people to reflect on the collective experience of the Irish people with regard to seeking safety and freedom in foreign lands. Given our long history of forced political and economic emigration we more than most people should have an empathy for the refugee.
``People fleeing oppressive regimes should be given every support when they arrive in Ireland and not be subjected to the ill informed debate that we have witnessed in recent weeks.
``Sinn Fein welcomes the thrust of The Refugee Act 1996, but in order for it to have an impact, legislative structures and procedures are needed to deal justly with claims for asylum.
``Sinn Fein backs the calls of the Irish Refugee Council for the setting up of a task force to look into the human needs of those victims of oppression who find themselves seeking asylum in Ireland. We call on the state to make an immediate commitment to give adequate finance to provide the necessary services and infrastructure to assist those seeking asylum in this country.
``A salient point for those who claim Europe cannot afford to be compassionate to those seeking protection is that 90% of the worlds refugee population is hosted by poor developing countries.'' ENDS
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