Finally, we sit up and take notice of war crisis

By Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Published 08/09/2015 | 00:00

The terms 'migrants' and 'refugees' are used but what about using the words 'people' and 'families'?
The terms 'migrants' and 'refugees' are used but what about using the words 'people' and 'families'?

There was barely a person in Ireland who hasn't been haunted by that photo of three year old Aylan Kurdi whose little body was found washed up on a beach in Turkey.

The image has attracted global attention and has been the catalyst for a certain amount of change when it comes to Europe's approach to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Like many others, that photo was on my mind from the moment it appeared online. There was much criticism about its use and it certainly wasn't an easy thing to look at.

This is the reality that the atrocious events in Syria have created and it has taken this one photo to finally wake us all up.

This child and his brother, their mother and thousands more have lost their lives because boarding a so called 'migrant ship' was their only hope of survival.

Sitting here in our warm homes and workplaces in our first world comfort, it is hard to imagine what it would feel like if any of us pampered Irish citizens were faced with such a horrific choice today.

To stay in a war-torn country where your home and all your possessions were destroyed with the risk of death a daily reality, or try and make your way to a safer country with the hope of starting a new life.

The fact that the Syrian people are being forced to take this deathly step is an international outrage and nothing is being done about it. The world is standing by and turning a blind eye and has been for far too long.

The refugee situation which offends so many heartless people shouldn't be happening in the first place, but it is, and cannot be ignored.

It is a stark reality and it is up to the rest of us to shoulder our share and to help where we can. Yes, Ireland is a small country and we aren't exactly booming but we are so much better off than these people and it is the right thing to do to offer shelter to our fair share.

It has taken the tragic image of that poor child to make us finally sit up and take notice and anyone who thinks it right to just shut up shop and turn those in need away in the name of our own economy is wrong.

If it were any of us it that situation wouldn't we hope that there was some compassion and kindness out there to help us in our time of need?

The terms 'migrants' and 'refugees' are used but what about the words 'people' and 'families'. Their plight cannot be ignored.

Wexford People

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