GIVEN its standing as an international Port, containers have been x-rayed at the Port of Waterford by An Gardaí Síochána and Revenue Customs prior to the detection today of eight migrants on a bulk cargo ship.
At a JPC meeting held in The Park Hotel in Dungarvan last week, Deputy Mary Butler reflected on the tragic news of the death of 39 migrants in the back of a truck trailer in the UK, while 16 males were found alive in another trailer on route to Rosslare. “We have to be very conscious of the Port of Waterford. I know you can’t compare Waterford with Rosslare as you don’t have foot passengers, but we still have containers coming in,” she explained.
She asked was there a plan in place should something similar arise at the Port of Waterford.
Assistant Commissioner for the South East Region, Michael Finn said the question was appropriate given what happened in recent times. “We are planning for those type of scenarios. We are looking to get more equipment like what is available nationally to detect who is on board containers. It isn’t always easy to detect who is on board. You need specialist equipment,” the Assistant Commissioner explained.
Chief Superintendent Padraig Dunne added that a number of operations had been run at the Port, most recently on Friday, November 22. In conjunction with Customs, containers were x-rayed. “There’s ongoing operations going on in the Port. The Port of Waterford is actually very busy and is an international Port. It is a matter that we are taking into consideration,” Chief Superintendent Dunne said.