The US Justice Department has said two detainees who were being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have been sent to Ireland for resettlement.

The US government did not identify the men, but the Government had said earlier that both were citizens of Uzbekistan who feared persecution if they were returned there.

The moves are part of President Barack Obama's plans to shut the camp by January of next year.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said the move underscored Ireland’s commitment to assist in bringing about the closure of the Gunatanamo Bay detention centre.

Mr Ahern said the two men should be allowed time and space to rebuild their lives.

The men arrived in Ireland yesterday.

A team from the Department of Justice is assisting them in a resettlement programme.