Hauliers block Foynes port over foreign trucks
Hour long protest called off after Garda assurances
Some 12 trucks staged a blockade preventing haulage vehicles from entering the country through Foynes Port in Limerick over what they claim is “illegal” activity relating to foreign operators.
The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) undertook the protest at Foynes Port at about 8pm because it said the ongoing situation was not being given due attention.
However, it called a halt to the blockade at about 9pm after receiving assurances from gardaí that the foreign trucks transporting parts for wind farms would not be able to proceed any further tonight.
Eoin Gavin, IRHA president, said the move was necessary because foreign drivers were exceeding the amount of work they were permitted to carry out without actually registering their vehicles in Ireland. He said the activity had been ongoing for a number of weeks.
According to association, an EU based driver can only deliver three loads within a foreign country’s borders over the period of a month, but in this case the drivers from England, Scotland, Holland and Northern Ireland had been carrying out more.
“It’s like a London black cab pulling up to a rank in Dublin; I don’t think they would last,” he said.
“Tonight it came to a head because there were three big movements planned for tonight and we weren’t getting any support. We are happy with that [decision to temporarily block entry]; that there is now something being done.
“Irish hauliers feel discriminated against in favour of out-of-state operators.
“The association has provided intelligence led information to the enforcement agencies to assist their efforts to combat this practise and nothing has been done.”
A Garda spokesman said the convoy could not have proceeded tonight as there was no escort in place, a condition of transporting heavy goods on public roads.