SIX Indonesian fishermen fled from a Spanish Trawler that docked in Dingle at the weekend before seeking help from Gardai and making allegations about conditions aboard the boat.
The men, who have asked for help to get back to their families in Indonesia, are being sheltered and cared for in Tralee as the government makes arrangements to reunite them with their loved ones at home.
The drama unfolded on Sunday afternoon when Gardaí in Dingle were contacted by the six men who had just arrived in the fishing port on a Spanish trawler that was taking shelter from the stormy conditions at sea.
The men who were described as distressed and dishevelled jumped from the fishing vessel after it docked and ran towards the town seeking aid from anyone who was in a position to help.
Gardaí said the men, who made a number of allegations about conditions aboard the trawler were then brought to Tralee where they have been provided with food and shelter by the HSE and Kerry County Council. SIX Indonesian fishermen are being sheltered and cared for in Tralee after they jumped ship from a Spanish trawler in Dingle, complaining about conditions aboud the ship. On Sunday Gardaí in Dingle were contacted by the six men who had arrived in the fishing port on a Spanish trawler that was taking shelter from the stormy conditions at sea.
On arriving in Dingle the six men, who were said to be in an extremely distressed and dishevelled condition, immediately jumped from the fishing vessel and ran into the town from the harbour seeking aid from anyone who was in a position to help.
Gardaí said the men, who made allegations regarding conditions on the trawler, were then brought to Tralee where they were interviewed and provided with food at Tralee Garda Station.
As the matter is essentially a civil legal dispute and outside their jurisdiction, the Gardaí said they were not in a position to intervene or investigate. A garda spokesman said the trawler has not been detained and is free to put to sea.
The trawler at the centre of the dispute has not been identified though gardaí have confirmed it is registered as belonging to a Spanish company. The six men have been placed in the care of the HSE South and Kerry County Council who have arranged accommodation for them at a hostel in Tralee where they are expected to remain until Thursday or Friday.
Food is being provided for the six men by staff at the Novas Initiative's Arlington Lodge Homeless Shelter.
They are not seeking asylum or refuge in Ireland and have asked the state for help in getting home to their native Indonesia.
Both the Department of Justice and The Department of Foreign Affairs are involved in the case and government representatives have been in contact with the men.
The state is providing the men with compassionate aid and assistance under the terms of the Immigration Act as staff from the two departments make arrangements with the Indonesian authorities and various airlines in order to repatriate the group as quickly as possible.