Garda search continues for five suspected illegal immigrants in Laois
Five suspected illegal immigrants who fled from the back of a truck last week in Laois are still on the run.
The refrigerated meat truck had travelled from Spain, through France to Rosslare Port and then to Laois, gardai confirmed to the Leinster Express.
The incident happened on Thursday evening, August 2 and the search is still on to find the five men who are suspected to be in the country illegally.
Portlaoise gardai and the Air Support Unit helicopter are continuing the search.
On opening the trailer of the truck, five men reportedly jumped out and ran into the countryside in the rural Straboe / The Rock area between Portlaoise, Mountmellick and Emo.
It is understood the five men were seen around the Garryhinch area early on Friday morning, but no further sightings have been reported.
A garda helicopter assisted with the search on Thursday evening and Friday. On Friday, August 3, gardai said that the search had stopped however it was resumed again by Monday morning.
On Monday morning, August 6, Gardaí confirmed that the five men were not yet found and the search was ongoing.
The search to find them is partly over concerns about their welfare as they travelled in a refrigerated meat truck for a significant amount of time.
A garda spokesperson outlined the latest details of the ongoing incident on Monday, August 6.
“Gardai in Portlaoise are investigating a report that a number of individuals were discovered in the rear of a lorry and fled when the door of the trailer was opened.
“This occurred at The Rock outside Mountmellick. They were discovered in the trailer at approximately 6.50pm on August 2.
“The Air support Unit and local Gardai are continuing to search the area,” a garda spokesperson said.
A train line runs through the rural part of the county near where the men fled on foot.
Gardai issued a community alert to members of the Rock Text Alert at 7.25pm on Thursday evening, after the incident began.
“Reports of five males acting suspicious in The Straboe Area The Rock area in the last 30 minutes. Last seen on foot. Report sighting,” the message read.
A Laois Garda spokesperson told the Leinster Express on Thursday that the men are “no threat to anyone.”
No description of any of the men has been given.
Anyone with information relating to the whereabouts of these men is asked to contact Portlaoise Garda Station at 057 8674100.