Foreign Affairs Committee to host hearings in response to Libyan tragedy

April 22nd, 2015 - Pat Breen

Peter Sutherland and Ambassadors to be invited before Committee

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade has this afternoon agreed to host comprehensive hearings in response to Sunday’s tragedy off the coast of Libya which claimed the lives of over 750 migrants.

The Committee agreed to request that Peter Sutherland, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration, appear before it to consider the optimum EU and Irish policy responses. The Committee also agreed to invite the Italian, Maltese, Spanish and Greek Ambassadors to formal hearings to discuss the challenges facing the authorities in their respective countries.

Chairman of the Committee Pat Breen TD says: “Sunday’s horrific incident off the coast of Libya saw 750 migrants and refugees die on Europe’s doorstep when the ship they were crowded onto capsized. While a number of Members were critical of EU actions in this area in recent months, the Committee commended the response of the Italian, Maltese, Greek and Spanish authorities who are at the forefront in dealing with this alarming trend in migrants crossing the Mediterranean in sub-standard vessels. The Committee has this afternoon agreed to host a series of meetings to fully explore the responses required at national, EU and international levels.”