Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice and Equality Martin Kenny TD has called on Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys to provide an emergency visa system immediately in light of the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
Speaking from his constituency today, the Sligo-Leitrim TD said:
“We are all horrified by the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan.
“Given that we now have a seat on the UN Security Council, now more than ever it is Ireland’s responsibility to provide whatever aid we can to the people of Afghanistan, whether that is humanitarian support, providing emergency visas, or a relocation and resettlement scheme.
“There are Afghan people who are now Irish citizens and consider Ireland their new home.
“They are telling me of their neighbours, lifelong friends and family members being executed because they have worked for western companies since the Taliban fell in the early 2000s.
“These Irish citizens are anxious for their families to be airlifted out of what is essentially now a warzone.
“Leas-Uachtaran Shinn Féin Michelle O’Neill indicated just this week that my Sinn Féin colleagues in the north would support the rollout of a relocation and resettlement scheme to Afghan nationals, similar to one provided to Syrian refugees a number of years ago by the British government.
“I have today written to both the Ministers for Justice and Minister for Foreign Affairs to suggest that they provide a similar system as an emergency measure.
“Afghanistan needs help now, not later.”