Wednesday 28 September 2016

Nine refugees were hiding for two days in truck at Rosslare Port before they were discovered

Claire McCormack

Published 27/02/2016 | 21:11

General view of the port of Rosslare, County Wexford
General view of the port of Rosslare, County Wexford

Nine male refugees discovered huddled inside the back of a truck that arrived at Rosslare Port, Co Wexford, this afternoon are in a stable condition in hospital.

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The Irish haulage truck carrying the refugees, all adult males, came off a ship from Cherbourg at around 3.30pm.

The refugees had been hidden inside the trailer for at least two days.

All nine found by authorities are in a stable condition and have been taken to Waterford Regional Hospital to undergo medical assessment.

Authorities say none of the stowaways are believed to be at risk of long-term injury or death.

Gardai are trying to establish their identities and interpreters have been deployed.

Responding to the situation, Verona Murphy, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association said the government are “very fortunate” that they are not dealing with “mass deaths”.

“We are so glad today that we’re not dealing with eight or nine dead migrants. The shipping route from Cherbourg to Rosslare is very long. They were contained within a container with a serious lack of oxygen so the threat to life would have been grave ,” she said.

“The Irish Road Haulage Association has tried numerous times to make the Government step up and take action in relation to this activity. But instead we have suffered thousands of euros in penalties with the UK border force,” she said.

Ms Verona says the stowaways should have been detected at the French port.

“These migrants should have been spotted well before they boarded a ship and as a result they are in that trailer almost two days and it raises serious safety concerns of the dangers Irish truck drivers are facing on a daily basis,” she said.

“Even if the driver had discovered them there would have been nine migrants to one driver, it’s a very serious health and safety risk at all times,” she said.

Ms Murphy is calling on the Irish and UK Governments to safeguard truck drivers as last week the French authorities received approval to clear part of the Calais migrant camp known as the "Jungle".

“They don’t want to be rehoused, they want to come to the UK, that is there primary objective . IF they manage to get inside our vehicles they are putting our drivers at risk and causing significant damage to trailer and the cargo,” she said.

“We are so glad today that we’re not dealing with eight or nine dead migrants,” she said.

“The shipping route from Cherbourg to Rosslare is very long. They were contained within a container with a serious lack of oxygen so the threat to life would have been grave.”

She says the refugees should have been detected at the French port.

“It raises serious ¬safety concerns of the dangers drivers are facing on a daily basis,” she said.

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