Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Government to roll out a migrant support programme which would allow volunteer families within the State to offer accommodation to those migrants who will be accepted here as part of our European commitments to ease the current crisis. Deputy McGrath made his comments following his participation in a three day conference with Pope Francis and international catholic legislators:
“There is no doubt that we have reached a point of no return in the current migrant crisis and that it is causing war like levels of population displacement.
Beyond all of the geo-political rhetoric however, what is urgently required are immediate and practical outcomes that will ease the suffering of these unfortunate people.
I am calling on the Government to immediately design and implement a volunteer family initiative which would allow those of us in a position to take some of the migrants and their children in to our homes to be able to do so.
Of course this is not an option that is going to be available to everyone, even those who would like to assist; but for those who can, they should be financially supported by being able to access the likes of the EU Internal Security Fund, the Asylum Fund, or even the Civil Protection Mechanism which EU President Juncker spoke about recently.
There are models for this kind of volunteer plan which already exist.
I am thinking of such initiatives as the various Chernobyl projects, which for decades have facilitated children from that disaster area entry to our State for life saving reasons.
Today we have an equally devastating crisis on our hands and we must be imaginative and compassionate in our response to it,” concluded Deputy McGrath.