Ireland to take in 600 African migrants as part of EU plan

Irish rescue mission in the Med
Irish rescue mission in the Med

Ireland is set to take 600 extra migrants from Syria and Eritrea as part of a European plan to ease the migration crisis in the Mediterranean.

The government has agreed to welcome the migrants over the next two years, The Irish Times reported.

The Cabinet signed off on the deal in principal ahead of a European Justice Ministers Meeting on Monday.

The relocation plan is designed to redistribute refugees arriving in Ireland from Italy and Greece.

Southern European countries have argued they are struggling to deal with the migrant crisis which should be shared between all EU states.

There are 40,000 migrants being targeted by the relocation plan, 24,000 of whom are currently in Italy while 16,000 are in Greece

Thousands of people have lost their lives in the Mediterranean as they attempt to cross from Africa to southern Europe.

The Irish naval vessel the LÉ Eithne has been involved in more than 20 rescue missions in the Mediterranean saving almost 3,400 lives.

The ship returned to Cork on Friday and will be replaced by the LÉ Niamh