Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said that the response of the Irish and British governments to refugees fleeing from wars and persecution crisis should match the scale of the crisis and the generosity of our people.
Ms Anderson said;
“The heartbreaking images of the pain and suffering of refugees fleeing conflict zones to find a new life in Europe have brought the need for urgent humanitarian action home to millions of people.
“The response from people right across society to the shocking pictures of the body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed ashore has shown the depth of feeling and the strong desire of people to help.
“In fact, ordinary citizens have shown themselves to be way ahead of the British and Irish governments by offering to open up their own homes to refugees.
“I have been inundated with e-mails and calls from people across Ireland offering support including accommodation. Today alone I have received over 300 calls and messages. People have clearly been very moved as have we, their political representatives, by this awful human tragedy.
“We have not only an international obligation to act but we have a human one too. Aylan Kurdi should have been playing on a beach not washed up on one.
“The Mediterranean Sea has turned into a floating cemetery with 30,000 men, women and little boys and girls drowning in a desperate attempt to flee wars and persecution.
“Let us be very clear, refugees want to return home and that is why the neighbouring countries bordering conflict zones like Pakistan, Jordan and Lebanon are hosting millions of displaced people.
“Europe has a responsibility to do more to help these people as the actions of European governments did much to trigger the wars and conflicts currently raging across the Middle East and beyond.
“The Irish people are demanding that the Irish and British governments do more to tackle this humanitarian disaster. The governments in Dublin and London must enable people to do all in their power to help.”