By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — As a steady stream of Romanian asylum seekers continues to arrive in Rosslare on ferries from France, Justice Minister John O’Donoghue is investigating ways to curtail the traffic which is overwhelming welfare services in the southeast.
Gardai and immigration searches of virtually every ferry arriving from Cherbourg are discovering more stowaways concealed in the container sections of articulated trucks.
Already several woman and children found in the containers have been treated in hospital for dehydration and the effect of toxic fumes after being sealed up in the containers.
Fears are growing that the human traffic will lead to large-scale fatalities.
A Waterford pastor said he had been told by 12 refugees he has housed in his hostel that there are more than 500 Romanians in the Cherbourg area who hope to travel to Ireland within the next fortnight.
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The authorities in Cherbourg discovered 70 Romanians in trailer containers recently but released them after it was found they had valid French residence permits.
A Garda spokesman in Wexford said there were now more than 200 Romanians whose asylum applications were being processed in the town.