Illegal immigrants arriving into Wexford in containers and on board trucks at Rosslare Europort ‘every single week’

THE CEO of one of the largest transport companies in Ireland has stated that refugees are being discovered hidden away on trucks arriving into Rosslare Europort "every single week". hris Smyth of Perennial Freight says that drivers are constantly discovering illegal immigrants hiding in trailers, having stowed away in major European ports like Cherbourg and Bilbao, and the situation is "getting worse". The revelation follows confirmation from Wexford Gardai that they are carrying out enquiries after four men were seen exiting the back of a truck and fleeing on foot from a yard near Rosslare Europort. A video circulating online shows the men running across a yard and onto the road after jumping from the back of a truck, which had supposedly just arrived into Rosslare from the continent.

A spokesperson for Wexford Gardai confirmed that they were investigating, but it appeared that the men had not yet been picked up by the authorities. "We did deal with an incident in which four persons allegedly absconded from the back of a truck in Rosslare," they said. "Enquiries are currently ongoing." It's reported that gardai were called to the offices of a local haulier after the men were spotted and CCTV footage was examined.

Although not at the centre of this incident, the CEO of Wexford based Perennial Freight says that there's been an explosion in this type of activity, which is causing havoc for hauliers. One of the largest transport companies in Ireland, they'll ship some 25,000 trailers through Rosslare this year. They regularly discover illegal immigrants hidden on board trucks, many of whom are fleeing desperate circumstances.

"We've had a lot of incidents with refugees hiding in trailers coming from Cherbourg and Bilbao," he said. "It's happening every single week. In France, there could be a couple of hundred refugees hanging around the ports trying to sneak on board a truck or trailer. It's causing us huge problems.

"Generally, they'll cut the trailer with a Stanley knife to gain access and tape it from the inside which causes quite a bit of damage. Then when refugees are inside the trailers for a long period of time, the products can get damaged and everything needs to be thoroughly cleaned." Mr Smyth says that while gardai and immigration at this side are doing their best, tighter security in continental ports is required to prevent what is "a constant problem".

Although a good number of those discovered are handed over to the authorities, a significant number also abscond having jumped out of the trailers at service stations or other stops along the way. "It's getting worse all the time," Mr Smyth said. "Unfortunately, there's not much we can do about it. Generally, we don't find out until we open up the trailers, so it simply needs better policing on the continent in Cherbourg and Bilbao.

But these are huge ports and they have hundreds of refugees trying to get access, so it's a difficult situation." Wexford has seen tragedy in the past in relation to illegal immigrants arriving into the country via Rosslare. Last December marked 20 years since 13 trafficked migrants were discovered in the back of a container in Drinagh.

Five were barely alive, while eight had already died from suffocation.

There are now fears that, if action is not taken to step up security at ports on the continent, it will only be a matter of time before another tragedy rolls off the ferries into Rosslare.