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On March 15 2011, pro-democracy protests took place in the southern city of Deraa in Syria.
The protests were in response to the arrest and torture of teenagers who had painted revolutionary slogans on a school wall.
Today, five years on, approximately 470,000 people have died and almost 12 million people – almost twice the entire population of the island of Ireland – have been forced to flee from their homes.
WATCH: Syria – 5 years of conflict
On the fifth anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict, we will pause at 7pm in Dublin city centre for a short vigil to remember those whose lives have been lost or destroyed.
We are also calling on the new Irish government to make peace in Syria a foreign policy priority.
Trócaire’s vigil will take place at the St. Stephen’s Green end of Grafton Street at 7pm on Tuesday 15 March.
It is one of thousands of events taking place around the world to mark the fifth anniversary of the war.
Speaking on the eve of the anniversary, Trócaire’s Éamonn Meehan called for greater political engagement towards finding a solution to the Syrian war:
“For five years now the people of Syria have suffered from war and displacement. Over 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, while almost twice the entire population of the island of Ireland have had to abandon their homes. Trócaire has been responding to this crisis since 2012, working with local partners in Syria, Lebanon, Greece, Jordan, Macedonia, Croatia and Serbia to deliver humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians. The very fact that Trócaire is responding to this conflict in seven countries across two continents highlights the magnitude of the crisis.
“Ireland has a valuable role in play in helping to secure an end to this nightmare. Engaging fully in the Syrian crisis, including pushing for an agreed EU approach to the refugee crisis, must be a key foreign policy priority of the new government. This crisis will not end until a political solution is put in place.”
Listen to our latest podcast ‘Outside the Box’ in which Noelle Fitzpatrick, Trócaire’s Syrian Response Officer, talks about the situation in Syria.
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