Tougher screening would ease concerns

Published 16/01/2016 | 00:00

Wicklow People Reporter, Deborah Coleman. Picture Garry O'Neill (No Reproduction Fee)
Wicklow People Reporter, Deborah Coleman. Picture Garry O'Neill (No Reproduction Fee)

I don't think anyone could say that Lucinda Creighton's remarks about tougher refugee screening are 'xenophobic' but in recent days she has come out to clarify her position.

Following the spate of sexual assaults in Cologne for which a number of refugees are suspects, she has outlined the need for an adequate screening programme.

Such a programme is needed for two reasons to ensure that those being admitted to Europe do not pose any threat, and also to help those who need it the most.

Aside from any criminal or terrorist threat, there is widespread concern that some of those entering Europe along with genuine refugees, are economic migrants.

These people cannot be criticised for seeking a better life but should not be making use of the crisis of others to improve their own situation.

An open-door policy would never be without risk so a screening programme makes total sense to protect the citizens of countries doing their bit to help and to protect those who are in need of refuge.

Of course Ireland needs to play its part in assisting the Syrian crisis but not at the risk of our own people. A proper and thorough screening programme is a no-brainer.

The world, at present, is a very scary and dangerous place and the sad reality is that some people will snuff out the lives of other for whatever cause it is they believe in.

We must be mindful of this and while some people might take offence to the notion that the plight of the vulnerable could be exploited by sinister elements, we cannot allow political correctness in the extreme to prevent the implementation of safety precautions.

A survey published at the weekend found that 59 per cent of Irish people have real concerns about terrorists making their way into Europe within the refugee relocation programme.

It is the duty of each accommodating country to ensure that those they welcome are of good character and pose no threat and any refugee who is in genuine need of assistance will surely understand the reason for this protocol.

The images of the horror endured by refugees, in recent months in particular, has left an indelible mark on the world and still, not enough is being done worldwide to improve the situation.

However, while helping as much as we can, we must exercise caution.

Wexford People

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