Twenty-six Syrians are seeking refugee status in Ireland as the violence in their home country continues to escalate. reports that the number of Syrians seeking asylum has doubled in comparison to the the same time last year. Since the crisis in Syria began, 1.6 million people have fled the country, with the UN Refugee Agency predicting the numbers could hit 3.5 million before the year is over.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said that there were 465 new applications for refugee status in Ireland between the beginning of 2013 and the end of June. There were 449 applications during the same period last year.

At 63, Nigerians make up the highest number of applicants seeking asylum, while Pakistanis come in second at 58.

The Irish government has been called on to welcome refugees fleeing the deadly conflict in Syria.