In a letter to the Minister for Justice and Equality, sent on 18th September, the Congress General Secretary, Patricia King,: “We would strongly urge you to advocate for an EU policy that is based on solidarity to ensure greater recognition, welcome and settlement of refugees within EU territory.

“We would particularly ask Government to ensure that refugees are fully integrated in suitable accommodation and that all necessary support is provided,” King said.

She explained that the Congress Centres Network – comprising 25 centres nationally – could be made available to “provide support, resources and a range of services to vulnerable groups in our society and excel in key aspects of training, upskilling and job seeking supports.

“The Centres are firmly embedded within their local communities and it is our view that they could play a key role in the government programme to assist, settle and integrate refugees. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss this proposal in greater detail.”