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22nd Nov 2019

‘International protection’ sought by 14 men found in container at Rosslare Harbour, two juveniles now in care of Tusla

Carl Kinsella


Gardaí believe the men are of Kurdish origin.

An Garda Síochána have confirmed that 14 of the 16 people discovered in a Climate Controlled Trailer Unit on board the STENA Horizon Ferry at Rosslare Harbour on Thursday have sought “international protection” in Ireland.

According to the Gardaí, the men will now be processed by the International Protection Office (IPO), an office within the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) and are currently being accommodated by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA).

Individuals are eligible to seek international protection in Ireland if they are a person who is refugee and in relation to whom a refugee declaration is in force, or a person eligible for subsidiary protection and in relation to whom a subsidiary protection declaration is in force.

The other two people who were discovered are believed to be juveniles, and are now in the care of TUSLA, the child and family agency for the Irish state.

The men were discovered while on board a ferry bound for Wexford, after it had left Cherbourg, France.

While the formal identification process for the men is still ongoing, Gardaí believe that they are of Kurdish origin. Kurdistan is not its own sovereign state, but instead is a territory spanning parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

Kurds in Northern Syria have recently become embroiled in a conflict with Turkey, after Donald Trump removed American troops from the region, allowing Turkey to begin an incursion into Rojava.

A criminal investigation remains underway into the discovery of the men on Thursday (21 November).

The discovery follows an incident last month in which 39 people were found dead in the trailer of a lorry in Essex. One man was arrested at Dublin Port in connection with that incident and Essex Police have expressed a desire to talk to two brothers from Armagh in relation to the discovery.

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