SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly says the United Kingdom and Ireland are not pulling their weight when it comes to accepting refugees from war zones in the Middle East.
He said: “While some may point to Britain being ‘burdened’ with migrants we should remember that countries like Germany, Sweden, Italy, France and Hungary all took significantly more asylum applications in 2014 than the UK.
“The majority of these people are from Syria fleeing a war zone, poverty and human rights abuses.
“I share the sentiments of the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker who said, ‘We will never turn people away when they come to us in need of protection.’
“In advance of the Summit of EU leaders on September 14, I am proposing that this Council writes to both the UK and Irish governments calling for greater compassion to be shown – not least by providing the humanitarian aid required to address this crisis but also by reviewing the places available for refugees here who have been exploited by traffickers after fleeing violence, persecution and suffering in their own countries.”