Enda Kenny says ISIS would seek to "blow up Newgrange"

"Horrendous": Taoiseach Enda Kenny
"Horrendous": Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq must be allowed to seek asylum from the likes of ISIS, who he says want to "blow up Newgrange."

Mr Kenny was speaking to reporters about the crisis unfolding in the Middle East and the subsequent refugee crisis in Europe.

The Islamic State, he remarked, represented a global threat and reckons the Meath monument along with the Rock of Cashel would be legitimate targets for the terrorist group. 

He said: "Look at what's happened in Syria with the growth of ISIS. Purely from the historical point of view, they want to blow up Newgrange and the Rock of Cashel, they want children shooting others in the head – this is horrendous."

ISIS have systematically destroyed many historical and archaelogical sites in both Iraq and Syria since they overran large parts of both countries. 

In April of this year they targeted the ancient city of Nimrod in Iraq, ravaging many cultural relics. Weeks previously they released footage showing the destruction of priceless antiquities in the northern Iraqi city of Nineveh. 

The footage shows men toppling statues in a museum and smashing them with sledgehammers, and attacking other statues at an archaeological site with a jackhammer.

Recently, the group destroyed a 2,000-year-old temple in the Syrian city of Palmyra, an ancient Roman city which had been impeccably preserved over the past two millennia.

The group abhors idolatry in any form and such cultural gems are offensive to their warped interpretation of Islam. 

Mr Kenny added that Ireland will "do what it can" for the incoming refugees. 

"The normal tradition is that if you bring a refugee to a country and then follow through with reuniting families, the multiplier there is about four to one so we've got to be realistic here.

"But we don't want to get bogged down in the statistics. This is about humanity."