Reference Number: pr2431, Press Release Issue Date: Dec 13, 2011
A total of 10 persons from Eritrea, made up of 3 families including 4 children, who were given protection in Malta, left the island this morning to start a new life in Ireland.
Their departure follows a commitment made by Ireland earlier this year to relocate persons granted international protection from Malta. Ireland’s Minister of Justice and Equality, Mr. Alan Shatter T.D. said this was a gesture of solidarity with his Maltese counterpart Minister Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici who expressed appreciation for Ireland’s contribution.
The Malta office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) undertook the counselling and referral of potential beneficiaries. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) - Malta took on the important tasks of conducting cultural orientation courses, as well as undertaking the logistical preparations related to the departure.
This is the second instance where the Irish Government has accepted to relocate a
number of protected persons from Malta. Ireland had relocated another 10 persons from Malta in 2007.
Staff from the Irish Department of Justice and Equality will meet the three families at the airport on arrival.  They will then be accommodated in a reception centre where other recently arrived and resettled refugees and asylum seekers reside.  After a short orientation programme they will transfer to their permanent residence.
The Ministry for Justice and Home Affairs, through its Third-Country Nationals Unit and respective entities falling under its remit, including the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers and the Office of the Refugee Commissioner, and in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, coordinated this exercise with its Irish counterparts.
Seeing off the migrants at the Malta International Airport this morning, the Parliamentary Assistant in the Ministry for Justice and Home Affairs, the Hon. Beppe Fenech Adami expressed his satisfaction at the successful completion of this intra-EU reallocation exercise with Ireland, which he described as a concrete expression of solidarity in the field of migration by Ireland. He thanked the Ministry’s staff and the Irish Ambassador to Malta, Jim Hennessy and the Irish authorities for their hard work in making this project possible.
This reallocation of asylum beneficiaries to Ireland follows a similar exercise a fortnight ago when another 150 persons were given an opportunity to relocate to Germany.