While children are separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border, and the Italy's refusal to accept the migrant rescue ship Aquarius highlights the divisions over migration in the EU, Galway gets set to mark World Refugee Day at an uncertain time.
Tomorrow, June 20, is World Refugee Day and the Galway Anti Racism Network has pledged to "do something special". The group is calling on the people of the city to gather at the beach at Palmer's Rock (opposite Coco Café ) at 6.30pm and to spell out the word "FÁILTE" on the beach, an aerial photograph of which will be taken.
Issues relating to migrants and refugees are not only confined to the US and the Mediterranean. The State's own direct provision system has come in for intense scrutiny and criticism in recent times.
"Refugees are languishing in accommodation centres around the country feeling isolated and depressed," said GARN chair Joe Loughnane. "The Government has failed to take in anywhere near the amount of people it promised to give refuge to. Asylum seekers have been subjected to mental torture and horrific conditions in direct provision centres for almost two decades, denied the right to work, and cut off from society. That's not a welcome. That's not marking your country on the map as a place of sanctuary for these people. GARN wants our refugee sisters and brothers to know that they are more than welcome on this island."