GARDAÍ have arrested four suspected illegal immigrants after they got out of a lorry that had arrived in Ireland from Spain.
The men, all aged in their 20s, were arrested near Ballacolla, Co. Laois at 10.30pm last night after emerging from the vehicle at a petrol station in Grantstown.
They are understood to have entered the country in an articulated lorry through Cork Port at Ringaskiddy, in Cork Harbour.
Gardaí confirmed they had arrested four men for immigration offences in County Laois.
A Garda spokeswoman said: "Gardaí arrested four Non National males in their 20s for immigration offences in Ballacolla, Co. Laois on Monday the 3rd of December 2018 at approx. 10.30pm.
"All four males were arrested and brought to the Bridewell Garda Station Co. Cork. Investigations are on going."
The four men have now requested asylum, according to reports.
A source told the Irish Mirror: "The men had travelled from Spain and its believed that they entered Europe after travelling across the Mediterranean from Africa.
"Apparently the men may not have been aware they were in Ireland. They have asked for asylum and they were brought back to Cork where they will be processed.
"At the moment enquiries are trying to establish where they originated from and what is their actual nationality - that may take some time.
"Gardai will also liaise with European police forces to determine if these men have come into contact with other immigration authorities."