Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Robert Troy TD, has questioned Tánaiste Simon Coveney over what the Government are doing to ensure that Ireland meets its international obligations in relation to human trafficking.

Deputy Troy was commenting as it emerged that 16 people were found in a truck, on a ferry bound for Rosslare Europort.

He said, “Thankfully, all of the people found today are alive and are believed to be in good health but we know from recent weeks that this very easily might not have been the case.

“Earlier this year the ‘Trafficking in Persons’ Report found that the Irish Government has made ‘insufficient efforts’ to tackle human trafficking. It highlighted, for the second year running, Ireland’s downgraded tier two position.

“The report referred to key areas where the Government were failing to meet even the minimum standards.

“The Government has not obtained a trafficking conviction since the law was amended in 2013. It’s little wonder when there are only 13 personnel attached to the human trafficking investigation and coordination unit. This number was 14 last year and 15 in 2017.

“The report also identified chronic deficiencies in victim identification, referral and assistance and said the state lacked specialised accommodation and adequate services for victims.

“Ireland can’t be found wanting on this issue. We need to show that we are not a destination of choice for traffickers. We also need to show that we are caring and compassionate to the victims of traffickers,” he concluded.