McNamara calls for refugee reception centre at Shannon Airport

Independent Clare TD Michael McNamara has urged Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to consider the establishment of a reception centre for refugees at Shannon Airport.

Deputy McNamara says Ukrainian refugees arriving in Shannon on flights originating from Poland are having to wait many hours for transportation, including by taxi minibus, to take them to the reception centre at Dublin Airport.

“I contacted Minister McEntee today to highlight the unnecessary discrepancy between the manner in which Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland via Shannon Airport are received compared to refugees arriving via Dublin Airport,” he stated.

Deputy McNamara continued, “It is entirely unreasonable people must wait for transportation to come from Dublin rather than locally where there is plenty of transport options to provide the service. Furthermore, it is not clear to me why a reception centre cannot be established in Shannon.

In Clare, we have a proud tradition of welcoming refugees going back to the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, and more recently refugees from Chile in the 1970s, Cuba in 1980s, and Kosovo in the late 1990s,” added Deputy McNamara. “I want to commend the management and staff of Shannon Airport as well as An Garda Siochana for their efforts to meet the shortfall in the meantime. They are welcoming refugees off flights without having any prior knowledge of how many refugees may be on board before ensuring their needs are met during their wait to be transported to Dublin.”

“I have written to Minister McEntee asking that her department rectify this situation as it is causing additional distress for people who have already suffered unimaginable turmoil,” concluded Deputy McNamara.