No one should be put in danger when we are able to provide sanctuary

Linen, they say, is the only thing that should be separated by color. Unfortunately, when you look at the global demarcation lines, you cannot hide that the haves and have-nots can be so easily distinguished in black and white terms.

And never more than when you look at international hotspots. Two billion people around the world are currently involved in conflicts.

Those displaced from their countries by war, drought or extreme poverty have no choice but to find a safe place to survive.

Those fleeing the rockets in Ukraine also had to escape the slaughter. So you can understand the apparent unease at the Government’s decision to limit the number of refugees coming to Ireland.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin defended it, saying it was “wise” given the unprecedented circumstances.

“We would potentially have four to five times as many people seeking international protection this year compared to pre-pandemic times,” he said.

Around 40,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived since February, he added.

Nonetheless, the decision to suspend the Council of Europe Convention on the Visa Waiver for Refugees was a difficult one. The pact allows refugees to travel to other signatory states: “no visa or permit required if the purpose of the trip is to stay for a maximum of three months.”

Mr. Martin’s promise that the suspension “won’t be forever” must be taken at his word.

Few countries understand the pain of leaving their homeland better than our own.

The relief we saw in the eyes of Ukrainian children holding their mothers’ hands after landing in Dublin was very real.

What they saw on their travels here may stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Hopefully some of the greeting will be preserved.

The fact that we have run out of accommodation and many have had to sleep in terminals for days speaks to the pressure on accommodation.

But no one should be put in danger as long as we can provide a safe haven.

If the system is being abused, this needs to be addressed urgently.

But legitimate cases must not suffer or be penalized because the necessary controls are not in place.

We cannot know the life paths of all who come to our shores.

However, when it comes to helping those in need or on the path of danger, it should be our privilege to help; as long as we can.

As the poet Rumi put it: “He who stays far from his homeland always longs for the day when he returns.”

Mr Martin is right – the war has put our system and systems across Europe under exceptional pressure.

It may be exhausting, but when people are down, as the saying goes, “There is no better exercise for the heart than to lift people up.” No one should be put in danger when we are able to provide sanctuary

Fry Electronics Team

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