Hauliers spark Dublin traffic disruption in protest over fuel costs
Protests have brought traffic to a standstill in Dublin as hauliers and truckers drove convoys of lorries into the city centre to highlight fuel costs.
Streets around Leinster House were blocked off by gardaí in advance of the protest.
A group of truckers and hauliers – naming itself the Irish Truckers Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices – is calling for “lower fuel costs at the pump and at home”, and said it wants “lower costs and lower taxes, rebates are no good.”
The group called for a “peaceful protest” and advised those taking part to keep hard shoulders and bus lanes free.
The Irish Road Haulage Association distanced itself from the group and the protest, with President Eugene Drennan saying it was difficult to engage with the group as it is “faceless”.
“It is very hard to know who or what they are. While their goals might be similar to what we are negotiating towards, we don’t know exactly what they want,” he said.
In a posting on Facebook, the Irish Truckers Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices group listed meeting points on the M1, M2, M3, M4, M7, and M11 motorways and said HGV and LGV owner operators intended to travel towards the Dáil.
“All roads lead to Kildare Street or as far as we can get. When we stop don’t move,” the post said.
But it asked participants to “have some consideration” for emergency vehicles.
“We don’t want any trouble or vigilante groups to act up. Stay at home if that’s your plans please,” it said.
The post also raised the possibility of an additional protest in the week before Christmas.
Mr Drennan said the IRHA has “big grievances” with the Government and Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan, but members had decided they “did not want to cause any grief to the public before Christmas” – however, they reserved their right to protest in the New Year.
Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue, who drove the cab of an articulated truck to the Dáil yesterday, said the plan was for a peaceful protest that would be “respectful of people and emergency vehicles”.
Mr O’Donoghue said he drove the vehicle to the Dáil as part of his own “silent protest” to highlight the issue of a disparity of services and infrastructure outside cities and called for a “level-playing field for everyone”.
The TD for Limerick county called for increased investment in rural areas.
“It is about incentivising people, not crippling the country by taxing them. They are driving prices up and there’s no alternatives,” he said.
Under Budget 2022, the cost of petrol and diesel rose alongside a planned increase in the rate of the carbon tax.
The carbon tax increased another €7.50 to €41 per tonne and is due to continue to rise each year until it reaches €100 per tonne.
Petrol and diesel costs came into effect in October after the Budget announcement, with the price of a litre of each rising by 2.5c and 2.1c respectively.
That equates to around €1.28 extra for a 60-litre tank of petrol or a €1.48 jump for diesel.