Dublin business owners call for ‘a bit of realism’ as truckers warn of further protest in December

The head of a Dublin business group says a bit of realism is needed from protesting truckers. Hauliers who caused significant traffic disruption in the city on Wednesday say they will completely block motorways and ports if action is not taken on rising fuel prices.

The group, calling themselves the Irish Trucker Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices, has warned it will hold a second protest during the first week in December.

Posting on their Facebook page, the group said: “All hauliers, truckers, buses, taxis, fisheries, professional drivers, couriers and members of the public the first week in December could be the next one if we don’t get a change so keep in mind.”

“This will be massive.”

However, Richard Guiney, CEO of Dublin Town, says those tactics have not worked for others.

“We’re extraordinarily concerned at the moment in terms of the future of Dublin City as a commercial entity,” Mr Guiney said.

“Obviously, Christmases the time when traders would do a third of their annual turnover, but people are not in the city in the kind of numbers that we need.

“I think we’re already going to be facing closures unfortunately in the new year, and anything that makes that situation worse is obviously very detrimental.”

On Wednesday, truckers made their way from the main arterial routes in Dublin to Kildare Street, calling for “lower fuel costs at the pump and at home”.

In a statement, they said: “We want the Government to address the nation on this cause.

“If we don’t get a change, a lot of small operators will be out of business sooner than you think.

“If we don’t get an answer we will be back in bigger numbers for a week before Christmas.” 

Congestion on the M7 near Naas, in Co Kildare, as the Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices urged commercial vehicles to travel to Dublin city centre to call for lower fuel prices.

Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has dissociated itself from the group saying: “The Irish Road Haulage Association would like to make it clear that it has no affiliation or partnership with this group known as Irish Truckers & Haulage Association against fuel prices.” 

Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue was among the supporters.

“The food on the shelves for you to get fed – who brings it there?

Frontline haulage workers,” he said.

“Every person who came and drove their trucks here today are doing this to lower inflation because as the cost of running these trucks goes up, the cost of getting food goes up.

“That’s why they need to be protected.” 

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said the Government was in “constant contact” with industry representatives about ongoing cost issues.

The Irish Truckers & Haulage Association against fuel prices group is now calling on hauliers, taxis and couriers to get involved over rising fuel prices, saying they have the strength and numbers to bring the country to a halt.

 – additional reporting from PA