A cabinet minister has said Ireland will lead the world in dealing with the refugee crisis, and consider asylum for thousands who need it.
Alan Kelly has said Ireland's own history of migration means it has a moral duty to show leadership.
The minister has said he will not suggest a fixed number of refugees who could seek asylum in Ireland, as it has not been agreed by cabinet.
But he has denied that Ireland is only acting now because of the outcry over the photographs of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi: "This discussion has been going on in cabinet for a long time, it's not something that just happened now.
"Of course this image is, and by the way there's obviously a lot more harrowing images as well as that little boy, anyones heart would break to see that image.
"I know last night I couldn't sleep properly, I've a three year old son, it's very harrowing and upsetting," said Mr Kelly.