Northern Ireland

Stephen Rea: NI actor says people should get angry about migrant crisis

Stephen Rea
Image caption Bafta-winning actor Rea, is also an ambassador for UNICEF Ireland

Leading Northern Ireland actor Stephen Rea has said people should "get angry" about the migrant crisis in Europe.

He was speaking during a visit to the city earlier in the week to launch the FĂ©ile festival programme.

Bafta-winning actor Rea, is also an ambassador for UNICEF Ireland.

He told the BBC's Sunday News programme he did not think the UK was doing enough to help migrants and refugees coming from war-torn countries such as Syria and Lebanon.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Rea said people in the UK and Ireland should share their 'privilege'

"We're not doing enough because nobody wants to do enough," said the actor.

"This is why you've got Brexit, Trump - America's built on people and immigration. Britain is a mix of races and people have to understand how much we've taken from the countries these people are fleeing.

'Fortunate'

"We have to get a little bit angry about it and do something."

Rea said the UK and Ireland were "very fortunate", in contrast to a lot of countries in the Middle East and said privilege needed to be shared.

"We're privileged, but these people are not privileged and we need to offer them some of the privileges we have," he said.

"They're not just coming with their hands out, they bring a lot to the country, a lot of talent; new thought; new ways of looking at things and we have to welcome them."

You can hear more on The Sunday News on BBC Radio Ulster at 13:00 GMT and afterwards on the BBC iPlayer.