Ireland has told the EU that it will accept an additional 330 refugees next year as part of its response to the migration crisis facing people fleeing war-zones in Syria, Yemen and some other states.
Announcing the decision, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, said Ireland will meet its commitment to formally pledge to accept 1,089 people from Greece by early in the new year.
The overall target for the 2015 emergency programme was four times that number.
Minister Flanagan's statement follows discussions about the migration crisis at the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council which he attended in Brussels yesterday.
It is two years this month since the EU was swept by a wave of revulsion at photographs of the body of a three-year-old Syrian, Aylan Kurdi, who drowned on a Turkish beach while his family was trying to flee their homeland by boat to Greece.
The EU said the main initiative which it launched weeks after that controversy has relocated almost 28,000 (27,695) of the 100,000 people it was envisaged would need to be transferred to member states.
In his statement, Mr Flanagan said he told his EU colleagues that Ireland will pledge to take in 600 refugees during the 13 months beginning early December, adding that this will add 330 refugees to the 270 people who were already due to arrive next year.
He said the move "demonstrates Ireland's continuing commitment to play a full and active part in the EU efforts to meet the challenges of the migration crisis".
He added that he has asked his officials to undertake a review of the logistically challenging programme to see what more can be done to ensure Ireland meets its targets.
In a statement welcoming the minister's announcement, the UN's High Commission for Refugees congratulated Ireland for "again showing its commitment to supporting people forced to flee their homes because of war, conflict and persecution".
Enda O'Neill, Head of Office with UNHCR Ireland said that while the Republic will not meet its full quota of 520 in 2017, the decision to take those who will not arrive this year with an additional 330 in 2018 will give hope to many people languishing in exile for years.
He underlined that, at a time when large numbers of refugees cannot go home because of increasingly protracted conflict situations, resettlement offers an opportunity for the most vulnerable to rebuild their lives.
The UNHCR said that in September 2015, the Irish Government made a decision to welcome up to 4,000 refugees and asylum-seekers under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.
To date, 1,272 have arrived - 785 on resettlement arrangements since September 2015 and 487 from Greece on the EU Relocation Programme.
It said 265 refugees have arrived on resettlement so far this year.
The Minister's statement explains that the original target of 4,000 people included 910 who the European Commission has not allocated.
Mr Flanagan added that the target also included the 623 people who were to be relocated from Italy. But he says the transfer "has unfortunately not proved possible for reasons including vetting and security issues".
"Ireland is therefore on target to fulfill its commitments where we have been able to implement procedures to ensure appropriate security considerations are addressed," Mr Flanagan said.