Céad míle fáilte romhat – Ireland welcomes our new Syrian neighbours

0
157

Today Ireland will hold a welcoming ceremony for the people of Syria who will now begin a new life here.

The event will take place at 1pm in the Islamic Centre of Ireland where each Syrian family will also be introduced to a host family who will support them in their resettlement and integration in Ireland. The Syrian refugees will also be presented with gifts and donations.

The Syrian refugee crisis has gripped the world and anyone with an ounce of compassion will be sympathetic to just what these people have been through over the last few months.

A survey released not long ago proved just that with Ireland toping a poll stating we as a nation are “the most sympathetic towards Syrian refugees” arriving in our country in a poll of 12 European nations.

The International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) research into public sympathy towards Syrian refugees, published late last year, showed nearly nine out of 10 respondents in Ireland (87 per cent) expressed some degree of sympathy towards Syrian refugees arriving in the State. Ireland was followed by Spain (86 per cent), Germany (84 per cent) and Portugal (84 per cent). With our countries history for me there is no surprise in these statistics.

It is believed that up to 82 Syrians will find a new home here in Ireland in early March. Thirteen of the 82 Syrians who are expected in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, are children aged four or under. The group, comprising mainly young families, includes a total of 37 children, including 19 in the five-to-12 age category while the remainder are teenagers, according to figures supplied to local Oireachtas members by the Department of Justice.

2017 is a new year for us all and with people making New Year’s resolutions to get fit and take up a new hobby these new citizens of Ireland want just one thing – to be safe. Already so much of their lives have been turned upside down here’s hoping they settle into their new life here with ease and are welcomed by the local communities.

I certainly wish them the very best for 2017 and welcome them with open arms to my country Ireland.