Senator Higgins on the conclusion of Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean

Irish Naval Service rescued 18,000 people from drowning in the Mediterranean since 2015. In 2017, the mandate changed from a "primarily humanitarian search and rescue operations to primarily security and interception operations". Senator Higgins condemned this decision with the Minister at the time and said that this would result in more people dying while making the journey across the Mediterranean. 

Unfortunately this proved to be the case with 721 people dying at sea during June and July 2018, almost one in five people who attempted the journey. 
Now the search and rescue missions could stop altogether. Again Senator Higgins condemned this decision in the Seanad today.

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