Irish Red Cross welcomes final migrants from Greece under EU relocation programme.
The Irish Red Cross was at Baldonnel this afternoon to welcome the final 129 migrants due to arrive in Ireland from Greece under the EU relocation programme, signifying the conclusion of Ireland’s participation in this programme. With the arrival of this special charter flight, Ireland has now received all the migrants available for relocation to Ireland from Greece.
The Irish Red Cross provided hygiene kits to every single person on the flight while baby kits were also given to the infants. The Irish Red Cross also supplied the coaches for transport from Baldonnel; these coaches were accompanied by two Irish Red Cross ambulances manned by four volunteers who were on hand to provide assistance, if required.
Today’s flight had 73 adults and 56 children on board. 36 of the children are aged 12 and under.
Altogether, 20 flights under the relocation strand of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) have been supported in a similar fashion by the Irish Red Cross.
Eve Leonard of the Irish Red Cross said; "Irish Red Cross volunteers were at Baldonnel today to meet the migrants and welcome them to Ireland. We have greeted and assited 20 flights in total and it has been very rewarding to meet migrants and reassure them they will be safe in Ireland.
"Today was a particularly special occasion as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar landed in Baldonnel at the same time as the flight from Greece and he took the opportunity to personally welcome the migrants to Ireland.
"Since late summer 2017, the Irish Red Cross has facilitated the placement of refugees into accommodation all over Ireland and we will continue to do so until needs have been met."
In response to the plight of migrants fleeing conflict in the Middle East, Ireland opted in to the relocation mechanism as an act of solidarity with EU member states in 2015 when Ireland committed to take in 4,000 people.
The Irish Red Cross supports the resettlement and integration of migrants who come into Ireland under the relocation strand of the IRPP. This is following a request from the Department of Justice and Equality in autumn 2015 for the Irish Red Cross to manage a register of pledges for accommodation, goods and services made by the Irish public on a charitable basis in response to the migration crisis.