‘Stormont needs to help with migrant crisis’ – McAteer

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
Community, Politics
Independent Newry City Councillor Kevin McAteer has called on the assembly to help tackle the migrant crisis.
Independent Newry Councillor Kevin McAteer

Independent Newry Councillor Kevin McAteer

His comments follow the recent harrowing images seen in the news and social media feeds recently, with thousands of people fleeing war torn countries in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and beyond. Speaking to Newry Times, the Independent Councillor stated, “The assembly have the influence and the power to stand up and condemn what is happening here. People are dying as a result of trying to escape these war zones and we must do the right thing and help them in any way we can. “I know last year the Stormont Executive set up a crisis fund for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees living in NI; surely some of that money could be used to help these refugees. “Countries right across Europe are under pressure to take in refugees. Germany predicts that they will have 800,000 refugees this year. Many European countries have said they will take in refugees. Northern Ireland needs to follow suit,” McAteer insisted. “The assembly needs to step up here; failure to take in refugees is an abandonment of our human values. The MLAs in Stormont are in a position of influence whereby they can condemn what is happening and offer support and resources to ease this crisis. “This year in Newry we celebrate 150 years since the Irish famine. During the famine 2 million Irish refugees left Ireland and travelled to various countries around the world to seek a new life. At this time the Irish were welcomed into these countries and now it is time to show our humanity and return the favour. Councillor McAteer added, “I know there are collection points throughout the district at Dromintee GAA club and the Enterprise House at the WIN estate where you can donate items for the Northern Ireland Calais Refugee Solidarity collection. I urge people to help out in whatever way they can.”
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