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Three men who made their way to Ireland hidden on indie band's truck claim asylum

The band Two Door Cinema Club first made the discovery after the men emerged from the truck’s spare tyre compartment.

Galway International Arts Festival
Galway International Arts Festival
Image: RollingNews.ie

THREE SUDANESE NATIONALS who entered Ireland after being discovered on indie band Two Door Cinema Club’s truck in Galway City last week have claimed asylum. 

The three men – one in his late teens and two in their 20s – were discovered last Friday in the trailer of a truck near the Big Top concert venue where the Galway International Arts Festival was taking place. 

Two Door Cinema Club, who performed at the festival last week, confirmed on Twitter last night the incident took place and related how the three men emerged from the spare tyre compartment in the undercarriage of their touring truck.

Gardaí attended the scene at Fisheries Field after being notified that the three men were concealed within the truck and detained all three under Section 13 of the Immigration Act.

The band has expressed their hope that the men “are treated with compassion and that ultimately they’ll be welcomed into their new local community.”

“What we can gather is they got into the truck somewhere in France and had stayed hidden through hundreds of miles of driving and an 18 hour ferry crossing,” the band wrote on Twitter. 

“Three young men who risked everything for a better life. Three young men going into Direct Provision.”

Tweet by @Two Door Cinema Club Source: Two Door Cinema Club/Twitter

Joe Loughnane, chair of the Galway Anti-Racism Network, told TheJournal.ie that he initially assisted the three men who have since consulted with two solicitors. 

All three men are now being processed at Balseskin Reception Centre in Dublin.

Since September, the Department of Justice & Equality’s Reception & Integration Agency (RIA) has accommodated people in hotels and B&Bs due to capacity issues in Direct Provision centres. 

There are now 1,000 people living in emergency set-ups in 28 counties around Ireland. The department has paid nearly €9 million to private business owners running hotels and B&Bs in that time. 

People living in these centres, however, have experienced a lack of service provision and have raised these issues with RIA. 

Established in 1999 in response to a sharp increase in the number of people seeking asylum in Ireland, Direct Provision has been repeatedly criticised by migrant rights groups due to the length of time people remain in centres while their asylum applications or appeals are processed, the conditions of centres as well as the psychological effects on those living in these centres.

It’s unclear at the moment at what stage the three men’s claims for asylum are at.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice said that the staff of the International Protection Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are “independent by law in the exercise of their international protection functions”.

“They are also bound by confidentiality provisions in respect of applicants as set out in the International Protection Act 2015,” it concluded. 

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