Further statement expected from hunger strikers

Another statement is expected from the Afghans on hunger strike in Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin this evening.

Another statement is expected from the Afghans on hunger strike in Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin this evening.

Earlier, the Justice Department told the Church of Ireland to stop negotiating with them as the stand-off, now in its seventh day, continues without any sign of a breakthrough.

The Department says making any commitments to the men beyond what they are entitled to under the asylum process would almost certainly lead to copy-cat actions.

As supporters protested outside the cathedral this afternoon, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Neil, said they had been told by the department that it is now a matter for the Gardai.

"We had arrived at a set of proposals which were acceptable to the asylum seekers and which, we felt, offered a fair and equitable way forward for all parties, Mr O’Neil said today.

“Unfortunately, this view was not shared by the Department of Justice.”

Within the past half hour, another ambulance has pulled up outside the Cathedral and two medics have gone inside the building.

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