Tyre deflators target more SUVs in south Dublin

Woman who had doctor’s appointment among those who called to tyre repair service in Donnybrook early on Thursday morning

Gardaí are investigating the targeting of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) in South Dublin on Wednesday night by activists involved in a campaign of letting the air out of the tyres of such cars.

Richardo Montemarano of the First Stop tyre repair service in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, said three women customers came into the service station on Thursday morning because the tyres on their vehicles had been deflated overnight.

“They open the valve cap and put little seeds in and then squish the valve cap back on. This lets the air out very slowly,” he said.

All of the women were from the Donnybrook/Sandymount area and all were upset. “The first one who was here in the morning had a doctor’s appointment. I don’t know if she managed to get to it.”


Another woman had an SUV Volvo. The tyres were not damaged as a result of what had happened, Mr Montemarano said.

Leaflets from a group called the Tyre Extinguishers were left on the vehicles saying “attention – your gas guzzler kills” and explaining why SUVs were being targeted. While mentioning the effect of SUVs on climate change, the leaflets also said the group are targeting electric and hybrid SUVs because they are “polluting, dangerous and cause congestion”.

The targeting of the SUVs follows similar overnight events in the Churchtown and Dún Laoghaire areas of South Dublin last week, which led to the Garda Press Office saying they were investigating “a number of incidents of criminal damage”.

Asked about the latest attacks, the Garda Press Office said the gardaí were “investigating a number of incidents of criminal damage that occurred in the Ranelagh area, Dublin 6 last night”. The statement made no reference to Donnybrook.

The Tyre Extinguishers movement has an online presence and has led to the targeting of SUVs in cities around Europe and in the US. Attempts to contact the operators of a Twitter account in that name that has posted about incidents in Dublin and in cities in other countries have not been successful.

An emailed statement to The Irish Times earlier on Thursday said 30 SUVs had been “disarmed” on Wednesday night in the Donnybrook area “by deflating, not slashing, at least one of their tyres”.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent