Kurd family found in refrigerated container ‘lucky to be alive’

Family discovered on Stena ferry in Rosslare needed immediate medical attention

Rosslare Harbour: the Kurdish family – four adults, two teenagers and two children – were found in a refrigerated container on a Stena Line ferry from Cherbourg, and are now in direct provision

Rosslare Harbour: the Kurdish family – four adults, two teenagers and two children – were found in a refrigerated container on a Stena Line ferry from Cherbourg, and are now in direct provision

 

A Kurdish family discovered in “desperate conditions” on board a ferry that arrived at Rosslare Europort in Co Wexford on Thursday are “lucky to be alive”, according to sources.

The Irish Times understands that the family fled Kurdistan into Turkey in recent weeks, before travelling on to Greece.

The four adults, two teenagers and two children are all understood to be related. Authorities are trying to establish how the family ended up inside a refrigerated container on a Stena Line ferry from Cherbourg in France.

“The family was discovered inside what we describe as a curtain container which was refrigerated. There were two young children discovered and their condition was not good,” a source told The Irish Times.

The family needed “immediate” medical attention once the authorities made the discovery on Thursday evening.

“The family are all doing well now and have been transferred to Dublin and are being housed on Lower Hatch Street. The family were found hiding inside the 40ft fridge container. Conditions were not good inside,” said the source.

“It’s a fridge unit so it’s desperate to think of the children inside. The family attended the detention office on Friday afternoon where they applied for for asylum.”

Direct provision

It is understood that the family were moved into direct provision on Friday.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland told The Irish Times that the family discovered on board the lorry on Thursday evening should be allowed to stay in Ireland.

It said that cases like this have become all too familiar and that more efforts are needed by the State to manage the crisis.

Pippa Willnough, advocacy manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said: “We know the family are Kurdish so we don’t know exactly what route they would have taken, but it was definitely a dangerous route.

“A mother and father decided that this was their decision, to risk both their own life and that of their children to reach safety.

“That’s how desperate people are in this situation. It is horrific to put a family through that and now there is an 18-month waiting list in the detention centre. We heard earlier in the week about the conditions and feelings of children living in direct provision – this is no life for children,” added Ms Willnough.

Hidden

Earlier this year, authorities at Rosslare Europort discovered 14 people hidden in the back of a truck that arrived from France in April. The 12 males and two females were discovered by Garda immigration officers after the Irish Ferries ship Oscar Wilde docked.

All 14 people, including one juvenile, were found inside a refrigerated trailer unit but were not harmed.