A selection team will be sent to Lebanon to select an additional 260 refugees under the Refugee Resettlement Programme, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald confirmed today.
"I am pleased to confirm that the Refugee Resettlement Strand of the Programme has seen significant progress," the Tánaiste said.
"Two hundred and seventy three refugees have already arrived from Lebanon and the remainder of the 520 refugees we committed to resettle in Ireland in 2016 will be here by the autumn.
"This is in advance of the EU deadline and clearly demonstrates Ireland’s continued proactive approach to resolving this unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
"Yesterday I informed the Government of my decision to send a further mission to Lebanon in the autumn to select an additional 260 refugees to be admitted in Spring 2017."
The decision by the Tánaiste to increase the number of refugees to arrive in Ireland under the Resettlement Strand of the IRPP takes account of the slower than anticipated arrival of asylum seekers from Greece and Italy as a result of administrative issues in those countries.
"My decision reflects the Government's commitment to welcome vulnerable refugees fleeing war and conflict and is another positive step towards delivering on Ireland's overall commitment to accept 4,000 persons," she said.
"Once in Ireland, these refugees will have access to vital health and education services. Our focus will be on helping them to rebuild their lives here in Ireland."
She added: "A further 28 Syrians arrived in Ireland in the last couple of weeks under relocation from Greece.
"I am aware that progress regarding the relocation of persons from Italy and Greece has been slower than we would have wanted but this should not be taken as any diminution of our commitment to delivering on this part of the programme.
"The delay has been largely outside of our control and my officials have been working closely with their Greek and Italian counterparts on this issue.
"The Greek authorities have now agreed that they will double the numbers available for transfer to Ireland to 40 persons every four weeks with the prospect of this number increasing further later in the year. In effect this means that the relocation strand will now be fully operational."