Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Seán Crowe TD has condemned the two bombing attacks on innocent civilians in Brussels while speaking in the Dáil on statements on the last European Council meeting.

Deputy Crowe also raised his concerns over the EU’s migration deal with Turkey, the Government’s failure to spend millions in received from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, and the continued imprisonment of Irish citizen, Ibrahim Halawa, by the Egyptian authorities.

Deputy Crowe said:

“I wish to express my condolences to the families of those who have been killed and injured in Brussels today and to condemn these horrific and cowardly attacks on innocent civilians.

“The European Council meeting was primarily focused on migration and the refugee crisis. I think the Brussels attacks bring in to sharp focus why millions of people are fleeing the conflict and terror in Syria, Iraq, and other parts of the world.

“The current system for these people and their families to get asylum and protection is broken. We need to urgently fix it and create a legal pathway that will deliver for vulnerable and desperate people.

“The EU’s deal with Turkey could involve mass deportations to Turkey and lead to mass human rights and international law violations.

“We need a humanitarian response to this crisis and Ireland needs to urgently resettle more of the 4,000 refugees that it promised last year.”

Deputy Crowe continued:

“I also raised an issue unearthed my party colleague Eoin Ó Broin TD through Freedom of Information requests, which found that the Government has only spent 37% of the money it has received under the European Globalisation Fund. The money is supposed to be utilised and spent on the education and training for workers who have lost their jobs at Lufthansa Technik.

“I am calling on the Government to ensure that it fully utilises this money and also examines how it can be spent on the thousands of other young people from Dublin mid-west and south-west who are currently not in education training or employment.

“I also raised the continued detention of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt after his trial was again postponed on 6 March, for the thirteenth time, and is now supposed to take place on the 26th of June.

“Ibrahim has now been detained without trial for more than 32 months, where he has increasingly faced inhumane and unacceptable treatment.

“There are expressly clear grounds for Ibrahim’s immediate release under Egyptian Law, the so-called Law 140.

“I called on the Taoiseach to do more to ensure Ibrahim’s release and to encourage other EU heads of State to lobby the Egyptian President for Ibrahim’s immediate release under this law.”