Ireland has taken in 486 refugees since the European migrant crisis began, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton has told the Dáil.

The Irish Refugee Protection Programme was established in September 2015 as a direct result of the crisis in southern Europe as a consequence of the mass migration from areas of conflict.

The Government has pledged to accept a total of 4,000 people by the end of 2017 through a combination of relocation from Italy and Greece and resettlement from Jordan and Lebanon.

"Under the resettlement part of the programme, 520 refugees are to be settled in Ireland by the end of this year.

"To date 486 refugees have been admitted to the State under this part of the programme.

"Sufficient cases have already been selected during a mission to Lebanon earlier this year to ensure that the remaining refugees in this quota of 520 will be taken in by the end of 2016 ahead of schedule."

In addition, the Government recently announced that it is extending the resettlement programme to take in a further 260 refugees from Lebanon in 2017.

The minister said: "Under relocation Ireland has taken in 69 civilians from Greece to date, mostly families, and a further 40 are being processed and cleared for arrival. Arrangements for their travel to the State are currently being made."

He said officials last week interviewed a group of 63 people in Athens who, once cleared for travel, are expected to arrive in October.

It is estimated that by the end of this year, Ireland will have accepted at least 360 people under this relocation programme, he added.

He admitted that the pace of arrivals has been slower than the Tánaiste or he would have liked but he said "that has been the experience of the majority of participating states and are due to situations beyond our control".

Minister Stanton was responding to a question from Independent TD Thomas Pringle about the commitment Ireland has made to take in 4,000 refugees by the end of 2017.

The Donegal TD said there is a feeling out there that the Government is not too sorry to see that there has been a slow uptake to date.