First Syrian refugees to arrive in Belfast

A group of 50 refugees fleeing Syria will arrive in Belfast on December 15.

Almost half of the Syrian refugees due to arrive in Northern Ireland will be children, deputy first minister Martin McGuinness said yesterday.

The 50 people due to arrive on December 15 will be resettled in Belfast followed by a second group who will be housed in Derry.

Both Mr McGuinness and Peter Robinson were speaking following a meeting of the British Irish Council.

Mr McGuinness said, half of the "highly traumatised" people due to arrive are under 15-years old.

"If they stay they will enrich our lives", the Sinn Féin MLA said.

First Minister Peter Robinson said: "We want them to assimilate into Northern Ireland as quickly as possible."

He added that he and the deputy first minister "deplored" those who were planning an anti-refugee rally ahead of the arrival of the first group of refugees.


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