Since Autumn 2015, a concern has evolved amongst Quakers in Dublin regarding the refugees (numbering up to 4,000) expected to arrive in Ireland in particular under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) organised by the Government. In January 2016, a group of Dublin Quakers, calling themselves the Welcoming Refugees Group, came together, formed a committee, and have since held a number of meetings to consider possible actions. As well as pledging support via the Irish Red Cross, individuals in the group compiled a list of ways in which they were willing to assist refugees following their arrival, including by English language tuition/conversation, befriending, arts/culture, work experience and accommodation.
Pending the arrival of the refugees, the group has engaged in efforts to inform itself about the general refugee situation including that of already arrived asylum seekers (over 4,800 in September 2015) in direct provision centres across the country. The group is currently seeking to discern the most appropriate supportive actions to take in relation to refugees already in the country including those in direct provision centres.
The group is represented at meetings of the Government’s IRPP Task Force involving the Red Cross and Religious Representatives.