Truckers protesting in Dublin fined for obstruction

Disruption confined to east of city around Dublin Port with some routes blocked

A number of hauliers and truckers protesting over spiralling fuel costs have been fined for obstructing roads in the docklands area of Dublin.

The protest caused disruption in the east of the city after demonstrators gathered from early Monday morning.

Truckers and hauliers protesting against rising fuel prices blocked routes to Dublin Port but caused little in the way of traffic disruption.

About 25 vehicles were involved in blocking the Tom Clarke Bridge, formerly the East Link bridge, and the roundabout at the Point Village.

The turnout was poor given that the organisers anticipated bringing the whole city to a halt. A rally in O’Connell Street planned for 9am did not take place.

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 for Transport Eamon Ryan.

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

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

The Department of Transport stated it would not comment on the protests, but in a statement it pointed out that the Government recently opened a support scheme of €100 per week for each licensed heavy goods vehicle (HGV), which costs €18 million and will last for eight weeks

It has also reduced excise duty by 20 cent per litre of petrol, 15 cent per litre of diesel and 2 cent in the excise duty charged on marked gas oil.

Disruption

The Garda press office said city traffic moved overall, with the major disruption confined to the east of the city around the port.

The demonstration over rising fuel prices was much smaller than previous protests in the Dublin Port area.

Traffic to and from the port was diverted down Sheriff Street Upper and away from the Tom Clarke Bridge.

The streets of Dublin were largely deserted on Monday morning as motorists appeared to heed advice to stay away from the city centre.

A Garda spokesman said there were no significant traffic issues as a result of the protest.

None of the truckers participating in the protest wanted to give their full names. A few said they had been targeted after the previous protest.

One named Declan said the €100 per week subsidy by the Government for licensed HGVs was only for the “select few” and did not include smaller vehicles such as vans and pick-up trucks.

He said they were prepared to stay as long as it took and asked the Government to intervene.

The group behind the protest, which named itself the People of Ireland Against Fuel Prices, previously said it would not leave without a resolution on the issue, and called on participants to be prepared to protest “for at least one week, maybe even two”.

The demonstrators were previously known as the Irish Trucker and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices.

Before Christmas this group held two similar protests, the first of which had significant traffic repercussions, while the second was much smaller than anticipated.

The People of Ireland Against Fuel Prices group is not affiliated with the official Irish Road Haulage Association.