Gardaí are advising commuters to plan for potential traffic disruption due to the protest, but most of the early disruption centred on the docklands area.
The protest was being organised by a group which calls itself ‘The People of Ireland Against Fuel Prices’, which organised two protests in the capital last year – one in November and another in December – under the name ‘the Irish Trucker and Haulage Association against Fuel Prices’. It is not affiliated with the Irish Road Haulage Association
It invited hauliers and truck drivers – as well as drivers of other vehicles – to gather from 3am at points on four motorways into the city.
Protesters on foot were instructed to gather at the GPO on O’Connell Street from 9am.dockland
The hauliers’ group has said the protest will continue until their demands are met and has urged participants to “come prepared for at least one week, maybe even two”.
They have called for price caps on petrol, diesel and home heating fuel and the scrapping of the carbon tax.
In a Facebook post, the group said Dublin would be in complete lockdown for as long as it takes until its demands are agreed upon by Government.
“We are a group of truck companies struggling to stay afloat and have come together, along with farmers, bus companies, taxis and the general public to protest as the price of being in business and the cost of living is not affordable. We are all in crisis,” it said.
“How are people to get to school or work? How are the elderly and disadvantaged supposed to pay for these increases?
“Not just diesel, petrol but electricity and gas. It’s atrocious the situations families are going to find themselves in, choosing between food, heat and transport,” the post said.
“Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did not work hard all their lives and pay tax for us to live in poverty.”
The group stated it wants a peaceful protest and apologised in advance for inconvenience caused.
Gardaí have said they are aware of the protest and will have an “appropriate and proportionate” plan in place to monitor it.
A statement issued by the Garda Press Office said it was “aware of a potential protest” in the Dublin region that may impact on commuter traffic” and advised commuters to “plan accordingly”.
It said gardaí would have an appropriate and proportionate plan in place to monitor the protest.
CEO of Dublin Town Richard Guiney said protest and disruption is not what the city needs as it remains in a fragile state after the pandemic, with footfall hovering at between 80% to 85% of 2019 levels.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said that protests held before Christmas did not impact as negatively as feared and hoped it would be the same situation today.
“The city is being used by people to meet their friends and family, particularly now that we’re coming out to the pandemic. That’s something that we see an awful lot where people, they may not be engaging with the businesses in the city, but they’re using the city as a as a meeting point to meet their friends and family. And that’s something that I think everybody should respect.”