16 people have been found alive on board a ship on its way to Rosslare Port in Co Wexford.
They were found in a container on a Stena Line ferry sailing from Cherbourg in France.
At 9.20pm last night the Stena Horizon roll on roll off passenger ship left Cherbourg in France for Rosslare.
En route staff heard banging from truck container in the ships hold. When they opened the doors they found 16 people alive.
A garda case conference is taking place in Wexford where discussions on how to proceed once the ship docks in Rosslare are taking place.
Little is known at this stage about the identity and nationality of the 16 stowaways. It is believed they are all men aged between 20 and 40 years old.
The ship is currently in the Celtic Sea and is due to arrive at around 3.30pm.
In a statement, Ian Hampton, Stena Line’s chief people & communications officer, said the 16 people are reported to be in good health.
“During the Stena Horizon’s 9pm sailing from Cherbourg, France, to Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday November 20, one of our employees during a routine inspection discovered 16 people in a sealed trailer on the vehicle deck.
“All the individuals are reported to be in good health and have been moved to a private passenger lounge on the ship where their wellbeing is the focus of our employees.
“Stena Line has alerted security and immigration officials in Rosslare so as the necessary arrangements can be made for the group on the vessel’s arrival in Rosslare. The vessel is scheduled to arrive at approximately 3.30pm today.”
Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the Gardaí will be on hand to meet the ferry.