Hauliers to hold up traffic in Dublin again in protest at rising fuel prices

Disruption expected as farmers set to join mass demonstration on Monday

The Irish Road Haulage Association has a meeting with Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State for Road, Transport and Logistics, on Friday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Truckers and hauliers are planning another mass demonstration on the streets of Dublin next week to protest fuel prices, which have reached an all-time high.

The Irish Truckers & Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices, which brought Dublin traffic to a standstill in November, is planning an even bigger demonstration on Monday.

Farmers are also planning to join the protest, starting with an overnight demonstration on Sunday, according to the association’s Facebook page.

The group claims the protest will last more than 24 hours, and it is calling on members of the public, the people of rural Ireland, taxi drivers and bus operators to join in.


Mark Sheehan, owner of MS Transport, based in Kinsealy in Dublin, said he has never seen inflation happen this rapidly in his 20 years of business. He attended last month’s protest.

The average fuel cost for his entire fleet has increased by roughly €25,000 per month. “That’s with no extra income. Wages have gone up, which the drivers deserve.”

Fuel bill

Lenny Clavin, founder of Clavin Transport Services in Mullingar in Co Westmeath, said his monthly fuel bill for eight trucks has gone from €39,763 in April to €64,313 in November.

His trucks meet Euro 6 emissions standards, and are the most modern and energy efficient, according to Mr Clavin.

He attended last month’s protest also.

The price of AdBlue, which is added to diesel exhausts to reduce emissions, has also increased. “That was 25c per litre; it’s now 54c per litre.”

Mr Clavin said that hauliers can’t just raise the price of their service. “Especially smaller hauliers. They may be tied into contracts for a year. It’s not always possible.”

He believes the Government should cap the amount of tax that is payable on fuel, while we wait for greener technology. He thinks hydrogen is the future fuel for transport, but this is not readily available in Ireland.

Independent TD for Limerick Richard O’Donoghue has repeatedly asked Government Ministers to intervene. He supported last month’s protest and even drove a lorry to the doors of the Dáil to make a statement.

He said that there should be cap on the amount of tax payable on fuel.

“It is hitting farmers, hauliers, everyone. If the cost of transport goes up, so does the cost of the food and clothes that’s being transported. Eighty per cent of our goods come on articulated lorries.”

Save the sector

Eugene Drennan, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), said that the IRHA is not affiliated with the protest, but he agrees that something needs to be done to save the sector.

The IRHA has a meeting with Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State for Road, Transport and Logistics, on Friday. He is hopeful the meeting will be productive.

Mr Drennan said Brexit has had a terrible impact on the sector, and the rising cost of fuel is not helping.

“We need to support our indigenous industry . . . there also needs to be a provision for collective bargaining for the sector.”

The Irish Truckers & Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices was contacted for comment.