The sixteen were discovered in the container of a lorry aboard a Stenaline ferry that had departed Brittany, France and is due to arrive in Rosslare at 3pm today. The group, reportedly made up of Asians, were said to be cold and hungry.

It is thought they were travelling to Ireland to claim refugee status. Gardaí and medical teams are now waiting at Rosslare port for the ferry to dock.

The group were reportedly found by the driver of lorry as he was inspecting his truck, after which the captain and crew were alerted. The ship did not return to Brittany as it had completed over half of its journey.

Hot food, drinks and medical assistance were offered to all sixteen, whilst everyone is understood to be in a stable condition.

It is understood that the lorry had completed a journey across France before boarding the ship. Gardaí will now question all concerned parties.