**updated 11.49 4/9/2015**
At this point everyone has seen the shocking images of Syrians, Afghans and other refugees suffering great hardship and even dying for the chance to reach safety in the European Union. The response of the Irish Government has been disgraceful so far, offering only to take in 600 refugees. This needs to change
Taking my cue from this effort from the UK Independent earlier here’s a version for Ireland. These are 5 things you can do to in the fight to ensure refugees get treated with the respect they deserve
1) Petition the Government
The civil society organisation Uplift has a petition aimed at Enda Kenny calling on him to give shelter to refugees in Ireland.
Sign the petition here
Even better you can contact your local representatives by email, letter or phone and let them know what you think about their lack of action. Find the details of your local TD on contact.ie
Theres currently some groups around Ireland gathering donations of money, clothes and other forms of supplies for the refugees in Calais.
Dublin Calais Refugee Solidarity
Cork Calais Refugee Solidarity
Northern Ireland Calais Refugee Solidarity
You can also follow the example of people in Iceland and Germany and offer to host refugees on Uplift’s site.
Pledge a Bed
Heres a list of charities working to help with the crisis as provided by the UK Independent.
● Save the Children: distributing essential items such as diapers, hygiene kits and food
● Red Cross Europe: providing emergency health services at central train stations
● Migrant Offshore Aid Station: dedicated to preventing migrant deaths at sea
● International Rescue Committee: improving living conditions by setting up camps
● The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): providing water, mosquito nets, tents, healthcare
● Refugee Action: advice about claiming asylum, the asylum process, asylum support
● World Vision: providing food, water, shelter, education and psychosocial care
Via Jim in the comments
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) are patrolling the Med in 3 Search & Rescue vessels and have so far this year rescued nearly 15,000 people!!
There are plans under way to organise protests to put more pressure on the Irish Government. The first of which takes place this Saturday the 5th of September in Dublin with a day of action on behalf of refugees. There is also an action in Limerick.
There are also plans for a demonstration to coincide with an International day of action on this issue on the 12th of September.
There are several groups in Ireland working on behalf of refugees both inside and outside the country. Here’s some of them
Migrant Rights Centre Ireland
Irish Refugee Council
Doras Luimní (Limerick)
Anti Racist Network
NASC the Irish Immigrant Support Center (Cork)
5) Support the Campaign to End Direct Provision in Ireland
This latest crisis isn’t the first time Ireland has failed those fleeing war, torture and oppression. Thousands continue to languish in Ireland in the cruel system known as Direct Provision, which has already been called the Magdalene Laundries of our generation.
Many of the groups linked in the volunteer section are also working on this issue, but one of the most impressive is Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI). This group is led and organised by the victims of the DP system itself.
*This is a work in progress please feel free to leave further suggestions, corrections etc in the comments
**Racist trolling will be deleted so don’t bother.