Ireland to accept up to 4,000 persons under Irish Refugee Protection Programme

10 Sep 2015

Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice and Equality has announced that Ireland will accept up to 4,000 persons under Resettlement and Relocation Programmes. At a special cabinet meeting it was agreed to establish an ‘Irish Refugee Protection Programme’ for persons seeking international protection.

Ireland will accept up to 2,900 additional persons in need of international protection as part of the new EU programme.  This is in addition to the 600 persons already committed to earlier this year under the proposed EU Relocation programme, and 520 programme refugees currently being resettled to Ireland under a previously-agreed programme. The overall figure of 4,000 is likely to increase as recognised refugees may apply for family reunification.

Key figures:

  • 2,900 persons to be relocated from Hungary, Greece and Italy under Phase 2 of the EU relocation programme
  • 600 persons to be relocated from Italy and Greece under Phase 1 of the EU relocation programme
  • 520 programme refugees to be resettled from outside the EU


Key Features of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme:

  • Network of Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres to be established
  • Assessments and decisions on refugee status to be made in Centres, within weeks
  • New cross-departmental Taskforce, chaired by the Department of Justice & Equality, will coordinate and implement the Programme
  • Cabinet Committee on Social Policy to oversee Programme 
  • Integration measures including English language training to be provided
  • Special priority will be given to the plight of unaccompanied minors
  • Gardai to liaise with EU and international policing bodies to ensure appropriate vetting arrangements put in place for all new arrivals
  • Government approves additional budget allocation to deal with major increase in asylum and other immigration cases
  • Irish Red Cross and other agencies to assist in harnessing offers of support from the public, including offers of accommodation

Next steps:

Ireland’s participation in EU programmes will be discussed at the Extraordinary Meeting of the EU Council of Justice & Home Affairs (JHA) Ministers on 14 September 2015 which Minister Fitzgerald will attend.

For further information:

See Department of Justice and Equality Press release: Ireland to accept up to 4,000 persons under Relocation and Resettlement programmes – Fitzgerald.

See also Department of Justice and Equality update: Update on Ireland’s Response to EU Migration and Refugee Crisis.

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