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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 17 January, 2020
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Department of Justice declines to comment on reports of migrants going missing

Some of the 16 Kurdish migrants found on a ferry in Rosslare on Thursday have reportedly left a reception centre.

An ambulance on the ferry where 16 migrants were found alive on Thursday.
An ambulance on the ferry where 16 migrants were found alive on Thursday.
Image: Eamonn Farrell

THE DEPARTMENT OF Justice has said it cannot comment on reports that Kurdish migrants who were discovered on a ferry in Rosslare on Thursday have left the reception centre to which they were sent.

Several newspapers reported today that up to 11 of the 16 migrants had left the centre in Dublin. 

The department said it is not compulsory for asylum seekers to accept accommodation offered by the State. 

“The Department of Justice does not comment on individual cases, and has a legal obligation to protect the identity and privacy of any person or persons who make a claim for international protection,” a spokesperson said in a statement. 

“The system of Direct Provision is in place to offer food, shelter and ancillary services to persons seeking international protection.

“It is not compulsory, and persons who arrive seeking asylum are offered accommodation by the State while their cases are being considered, but are not obliged to take up the offer.”

Fifteen adults males and one minor were found in a lorry on a Stena Line ferry going to Rosslare from Cherbourg in France last Thursday. 

The boat left France on Wednesday night and arrived in Rosslare at 3pm on Thursday, when the 16 people were found during a routine inspection. 

The Sunday World reported that 11 migrants had left the reception centre within hours of arriving, and that gardaí were contacted. 

The Sunday Times reported that nine men were believed to be en route to the UK after leaving the centre, while the Irish Mail on Sunday said six had left the centre. 

The men were said to be in good health by Superintendent James Doyle after they were found and were due to be processed under Irish immigration law. 

Several newspaper reports said the men may be heading towards the UK. 

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