Fuel protest carriers cause widespread traffic disruption in Dublin
Heavy truck convoys have caused widespread traffic disruption in Dublin as part of a protest over fuel costs.
The group – Irish Truckers And Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices – traveled from Dublin’s main thoroughfares to Kildare Street on Wednesday.
The group is calling for “lower fuel costs at the pump and at home”, adding that the protest was aimed at the Irish people.
The group said in a statement: “We want the government to reach out to the nation for this cause.
“If we don’t get a change, a lot of small operators will close their doors sooner than you think.
“If we don’t get a response, we will be coming back in greater numbers for a week before Christmas. “
Truck driver Fintan McDermott said truckers pay an additional 350 euros per week to fill a tank.
“We are not making the extra 350 euros a week to pay for it,” he told the PA news agency.
“This is not tenable because if you fill in twice a week, it is 700 euros. You have to make up the extra money, but you are not earning enough because you are still only doing the same amount of work.
“It cuts through everything. Truck drivers do not get extra money.
“The delivery costs are not going up.
He said the protest received support from motorists, despite widespread traffic disruption.
“Surprisingly, a lot of cars beep because they understand it too,” he added.
“An average car costs 30 euros more per tank and the government has said it will be one euro more per tank.”
Motorist Francis Flaherty joined the truckers in supporting their protest.
“We’re all about cars, that’s all we live for. We don’t drink, we don’t take drugs, cars are our life and we put our money in our cars, ”he said.
“This increase in fuel prices has affected us a lot. Cars like this car would cost 60 pounds, but now it takes over 90 euros to fill it up.
“It affected me to go to work. We cannot take advantage of our weekends by car, on a cruise.
“It’s very hard, so it’s time to take a stand against the government.”
Among the supporters was TD independent Richard O’Donoghue.
“The food on the shelves for you to feed yourself – who brings it there? Frontline transport workers, ”he said.
“Everyone who’s come to drive their trucks here today is doing it to reduce inflation, because as the cost of operating these trucks goes up, the cost of food goes up.
“That’s why they need to be protected. “
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said truckers and carriers were “absolutely crucified”.
“These are small family businesses, already down to their fingertips with ripped off insurance costs, sky-high utility bills and the cost of domestic living,” McDonald added.
“Now the skyrocketing increases in fuel are the last straw for many. Carriers are essential workers who played a huge role in keeping the show on the road during the Covid emergency.
“Their protest today is a reaction to escalating energy costs and the fuel crisis.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the government was in “constant contact” with industry representatives about ongoing cost issues.