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The Irish Road Haulage Association warns about migrant smuggle deaths

The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has warned that there will be more deaths of migrants who are being smuggled in lorry trailers.

Eugene Drennan, IRHA president said that drivers lived in constant fear of discovering people being smuggled in their lorries, as there are not enough rules or protections in place to stop the issue.

He was speaking on the lights of the convictions in the UK of two men who were found guilty of manslaughter, because 39 people were suffocated to death in the back of their trailer as they were shipped from Belgium to the UK in October last year.

A young and middle aged Vietnamese migrants, were brought to Britain by offering false promises and later they were betrayed by criminals who pursued profits of more than £1 million that month alone.

It was on Monday that Romanian ringleader Gheorghe Nica, 43, from Basildon in Essex and lorry driver Eamonn Harrison, 24, from County Down, were found guilty of 39 counts of manslaughter.

The jury at the Old Bailey in London, which deliberated for nearly 23 hours, also convicted them of a wider people-smuggling plot with lorry driver Christopher Kennedy, 24, from County Armagh, and Valentin Calota, 38, from Birmingham.

Mr Drennan said that he would welcome the convictions and would congratulate any of the police who worked on the case and any other people from other agencies that worked on this case because it cannot be easy to piece together.

“It is every haulier’s and every driver’s – proper legitimate driver’s – worst nightmare finding migrants on board their cargo.” he added.

He also said that “We’re only lucky that we don’t have other people killed already. That is still waiting to happen. It’s still being done.”

The European leaders were called by Mr Drennan to take action before there are more deaths.

“Nothing has been put in place to stop the flow [of migrants], to return the people if necessary, to try to put a marker on it, to have a system in place of legal migration,” he said.

He said further acts of manslaughter will be there because involved in illegal smuggling “don’t take notice of what type of trailer they are putting the migrants into”.

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