Fine Gael TD for Kildare North, Anthony Lawlor, is appealing to Irish people to unite in offering assistance to Syrian refugees in their homes and premises.

“The images of Aylan Kurdi’s body on the beach in Turkey are heart wrenching and the most chilling depiction of the migrant crisis engulfing Europe today. Whilst international talks take place to find a permanent solution to the problem, I feel it is up to us as individual to find it in our hearts to embrace the refugees in our community.

“I am inspired by the Icelandic people who recently organised a Facebook campaign calling on people to open their homes to refugees. I strongly feel that Irish people should similarly engage in such a community spirited campaign. I was recently contacted by someone from the locality who is more than willing to offer their former hotel to accommodate migrants. I am calling on others who have similar accommodation, perhaps those with caravan parks or holiday homes, to come forward to likewise provide refuge for these migrants.

“Today (Thursday) I have been inundated with phonecalls and emails from constituents who have been compelled to contact a TD, many for the very first time, People feel useless and desperate to help. There should be a means by which concerned citizens can assist in providing accommodation. For example, offering a financial incentive to families to open their home, will similarly ensure migrants do not end up in Direct Provision accommodation for years on end.

“As a nation we are known for our caring nature but for generations we have also been welcomed overseas when times are difficult in Ireland. Now is our time to give back to the international community. Together as a nation we need to open our hearts and our homes to these besieged people”.