Traffic comes to standstill at Dublin Airport as roundabout protest causes disruption

Long delays for people entering or exiting the transport hub on Sunday afternoon as a result of small group’s actions

Traffic came to a standstill at Dublin Airport on Sunday as a small number of people took part in a protest at a roundabout used by those travelling to and from the transport hub.

People attempting to enter or exit the airport faced delays in some cases of more than an hour and a half due to the disruption.

Dublin Airport issued a tweet at 2.35pm alerting the public that a protest close to the airport roundabout was causing heavy traffic, and that traffic diversions were in place alongside gardaí.

It issued another statement just before 4pm saying that the road blockage was over and that traffic flows were “returning to normal in the vicinity of the airport”.


Gardaí confirmed their attendance and said that no arrests were made.

Videos posted on social media around the time of the disruption appeared to show anti-refugee sentiment being expressed by protesters.

The airport also advised passengers travelling to the terminals this afternoon to allow additional time because of the delays.

Aircoach, Citylink Ireland, Wexford Bus, GoBus, Goldline and Ulsterbus followed suit and issued warnings over disruption on journeys in both directions due to the protests.

Tom O’Grady, who drove to Dublin Airport today from Waterford, said that it took him 1.5 hours to get out of the airport after dropping off a friend at departures.

Speaking to The Irish Times, he said that he was “totally frustrated”. Within the space of an hour, his car moved approximately 15 yards.

“The place is in total gridlock, it is crazy ... I cannot understand how 25 protesters can bring down total gridlock, I mean there are people here and I’m sure they must be out of their minds trying to get out of the airport, it is ridiculous,” Mr O’Grady said.

“I pity the people that cannot get in for flights that are trying to get in now.

“It is just beggars belief how 20 protesters can stop traffic, bearing in mind that they are breaking the law full stop. People are entitled to protest and peacefully protest, but they are not entitled to block traffic,” he added.

Mr O’Grady said that having arrived at the airport at 2.45pm, his car did not start moving towards the exits until 3.50pm.

“I have a journey of 135 miles ahead of me and not a word to anyone. In fairness, people are very good, no one was blowing any horns or creating noise, the drivers, we didn’t know what was happening we just stood there or sat there, very tolerant.”

Ellen O'Donoghue

Ellen O'Donoghue

Ellen O'Donoghue is an Irish Times journalist.