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Hauliers protest over fuel costs ends after causing day-long disruption in Dublin

A number of hauliers and truckers were fined for obstructing roads in the docklands area of Dublin.

Hauliers and truckers protesting near the Dublin Port.
Hauliers and truckers protesting near the Dublin Port.
Image: PA

Updated Apr 11th 2022, 10:00 PM

A PROTEST BY hauliers and truckers demonstrating over spiralling fuel costs has come to an end, after causing day-long disruption in Dublin.

Demonstrators, some who had been fined for obstructing roads in the docklands area of Dublin, had gathered from early Monday morning.

People of Ireland Against Fuel Prices had threatened to bring “complete lockdown” to the city, with plans for slow-moving convoys of vehicles to travel along a number of motorways into Dublin city centre.

However, the protest instead saw a lower-than-expected number of drivers take part.

Hauliers left the city, some beeping their horns, after 6.30pm this evening after gardaí warned them that the next step would be issuing penalty points.

The blocked roads re-opened shortly after.

The Tom Clarke Bridge – still more generally known as the East Link – had been blocked in both directions since this morning. 

Motorists had been urged to avoid the entire Dublin Port area. There were also knock-on effects across the east of the city. 

There were plans for slow-moving convoys of vehicles to travel along a number of motorways into Dublin city centre.

East Wall Road was blocked with trucks and trailers, while the usually busy roundabout outside the 3Arena was also blockaded, causing the closure of North Wall Quay.

The entrance to Dublin Port and the Port Tunnel was heavily congested.

There were also road closures on Merrion Square West and Kildare Street. Some truck drivers remained in their parked cabs while others stood in groups on the road.

Gardaí at the scene warned the drivers to move their vehicles from the public road or they would be issued fines for obstruction.

Many of them refused and told gardai they would stay “for the rest of the day”.

All drivers were issued financial penalties for obstructing a public road and others could face penalty points for refusing to comply with a Garda instruction.

They were also warned they could face further penalties if they continued to refuse to move.

Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue was present at the protest and spoke with protestors in attendance.

0363 Truckersa Protests Independent TD Richard O'Donoghue at the protest this afternoon. Source: Leah Farrell

A pedestrian march was planned from 9am on O’Connell Street but this was sparsely attended by around 10 people as of 10am. Traffic is quiet in the north inner city. 

The protesters gathered outside the GPO said they wanted to show support to the truckers and hauliers.

Some at the demonstration said they had attended anti-lockdown protests previously and other marches across the city. Two gardaí were outside the GPO ahead of the gathering.

The Department of Transport had said the potential impact on traffic and people’s ability to get to work and hospital appointments is a “cause for concern” as a result of the truck protests.  

The Luas had earlier said red line services were slightly delayed but they are now operating as normal. 

The organisers are promoting the demonstration on the same Facebook page that was previously used to organise two similar protests late last year. Those protests caused significant traffic disruption around the capital. 

fuel-prices Hauliers and truckers protesting near Dublin Port this morning. Source: PA

The group had said the protest would continue until its demands are met, and urged people who were taking part to “come prepared for at least one week, maybe even two.”

But a number of protesters left the area by mid-morning after the group voted on whether to end the protest.

The protesters refused to speak to the media about the demonstration and about their plans to remain at the scene for the rest of the week.

Gardaí attempted to manage traffic and made attempts to get the protesters to move on.

Many of the vehicles carried banners with the slogan #Irishfuelprotest, with others calling for the resignation of Transport Minister Eamon Ryan.

The planned move to keep the protest rolling over the course of several days would reflect prominent “trucker” demonstrations in other countries in recent months, most notably Canada.

Organisers told protesters to bring heaters, marquees, tents and food. 

The group’s demands include price caps on petrol, diesel and home heating fuel, the scrapping of the carbon tax and the resignation of Minister Ryan.

The organisers of the demonstration claim: “Dublin will be in complete lockdown and for as long as it takes untill [sic] our demands are agreed upon by Government!” 

The price caps the group are demanding are €1.10 per litre for petrol, €1.20 per litre for diesel, 65c per litre for green (agricultural) diesel and 65c per litre for home heating oil.

The most recent price survey from the AA found that the average price per litre of diesel was €1.90, while petrol was €1.82.

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A quick survey by The Journal carried out last week found the price of home heating oil ranging from €1.25 to €1.65 per litre, depending on the supplier and the amount of oil ordered.

The protesters say the demonstration was planned to coincide with school holidays to minimise disruption. They are encouraging anyone with appointments in Dublin to reschedule if possible.

Richard Guiney, CEO of the DublinTown organisation, said a protest is not what Dublin city needs at the moment. 

He told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland programme: “We understand obviously that businesses and indeed customers and staff are experiencing inflation.

“It’s obviously not something that’s welcome,” he said. 

“This is something that we need to work together on rather than having one sector impacting on another.”

“I think dialogue is how we resolve issues” instead of “disrupting” peoples’ lives, he said.  

- With reporting by Orla Dwyer, Céimin Burke, Tadgh McNally and Press Association.

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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