Capital protest | 

Truckers demand Eamon Ryan resign and fuel prices capped as Dublin roads blocked

The group warned participants that the protest will last a “couple of days minimum but expect to be there for a week”

Gardaí talk to hauliers and truckers on Dublin's East Link Toll bridge on Monday morning. Picture: PA

Conor Feehan and Seoirse Mulgrew

The Tom Clarke Bridge/East Link Bridge in Dublin is currently blocked at both ends due to a fuel prices protest by truckers.

The roundabout at the 3 Arena, Promenade Road and the entrance to Dublin Port are also blocked, however approach roads to the city, including the quays appear to be moving relatively well.

A planned meeting point for protesters on foot at the GPO, from where they were to set off at 9am for the 3 Arena, was very quiet when visited by the Sunday World, however.

Gardaí have told motorists and bus commuters to plan for potential delays.

The People of Ireland Against Fuel Prices group has said hauliers are in “crisis” and companies are struggling to stay afloat.

The group warned participants that the protest will last a “couple of days minimum but expect to be there for a week”.

In a post on social media this morning the group issued their list of demands, including swingeing caps on fuel prices as well as Eamon Ryan to step down as transport minister with immediate effect.

"Our demands are as follows and we will not be moving until they are agreed upon,” the group wrote.

Their demands were listed as:

- Petrol capped at €1.10 per litre

- Diesel capped at €1.20 per litre

- Green diesel and home heating oil capped at 65c per litre

“These figures are inclusive of Vat and and are for everyone at home and at the pump!” the group said.

- Carbon tax to be scrapped

- Eamon Ryan to step down with immediate effect

"This will benefit every home, business in Ireland,” the group claimed.

Traffic on Dublin’s quays is flowing well, however there is no traffic making its way over the East Link. Trucks are parked all around the 3 Arena roundabout with traffic being diverted away from the area.

Irish truckers and hauliers have said they will bring Dublin city to a “standstill” this week in protest against rising fuel costs and that the demonstration will be one “for the history books”, after several similar events late last year.

Demonstrators were previously known as The Irish Trucker and Haulage Association against Fuel Prices. They are not affiliated with the official Irish Road Haulage Association.

On social media the group said: “All Vehicles are welcome.

Cars, Trucks, Buses, Vans, Tractors, Motorbikes, Taxis, Camper Vans etc.

Come prepared for at least 1 week maybe even 2‼️

Bring heaters, Marquees, Tents, Food etc‼️”

They asked the public to support them, adding: “We will need food and refreshments, we will also use local shops and restaurauts to support them too.”

“There is it no turning back, we shouldn't even have to do it!!” they said.

“Once we are in we stop and we do not move until our demands are met!!”

The group added: “Remember this is for the people of Ireland and we will all benefit.”

They said the majority of vehicles and drivers will be company owned and is a big sacrifice financially and for the future of their businesses.

"We want a peaceful protest so anyone who plans to cause trouble please stay at home,” they warned.

“We hope you all understand and we are sorry for the inconvenience caused in advance.”

They concluded: “Let it be a week to remember and one for the history books”, adding in the names of Leo Varadkar, Micheál Martin, Eamon Ryan, Mary Lou McDonald, Independent TD Richard O'Donoghue, Michael Healy Rae and Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty.”

“Now is the time to stand with the people for the future of Ireland,” the group said.

Protesters were gathering at locations on the M1, M4, M7 and close to the M11/M50 junction at 3am on Monday morning.

In a social media post this morning, the group encouraged those with vehicles to head for Dublin via the Port Tunnel and then to the 3 Arena roundabout, with those on foot setting out from the GPO for the 3 Arena for about 10.30am.

The main points of disruption at moment seem to be East Link, the 3 Arena and Dublin Port.

In a post on Facebook, the group said: “We are a group of Truck Companies struggling to stay afloat and have come to together along with Farmers, Bus Companies, Taxis and the General Public to protest as the price of being in business and the cost of living is not affordable.

“We are all in crisis. In relation to the protest, Dublin and surrounding areas of Dublin will be at a standstill and the protest will not just be a one-day protest it will be a long-drawn-out process until our demands are met.”

The group has condemned the Government’s plan of introducing a carbon tax on May 1.

“How are people to get school or work? How are the elderly and disadvantaged supposed to pay for these increases? Not just diesel, petrol but electricity and gas. It’s atrocious the situations families are going to find themselves in, choosing between food, heat and transport.

"It’s 2022 in a first world country, we can and need to do better,” the statement said.

“Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did not work hard all their lives and pay tax for us to live in poverty. The government have the power to help, and we need it now.”

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 group said the protest is “for the people of Ireland” and that everyone will “benefit”.

It said the majority of vehicles will be company owned and that this is a “big sacrifice financially”. They asked people to “show respect and support”.

“We want a peaceful protest so anyone who plans to cause trouble please stay at home. We hope you all understand, and we are sorry for the inconvenience caused in advance,” the group said.

Speaking on Monday morning, the chief executive officer of the DublinTown business group, Richard Guiney, said businesses are still fragile following the pandemic and further disruption is not needed.

“Obviously there’s an element of wait and see what transpires. Certainly, protests and disruption is not really what the city needs, we’re still in a fragile state coming out of the pandemic. So, there is concern about what the impacts are going to be,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“Our view is that we understand obviously, businesses and indeed our customers and staff are experiencing inflation. It’s obviously not something that’s welcome, particularly energy costs increasing the way they are.”

“But I suppose what we could be saying is this is something that we need to work together on rather than having one sector impact negatively on another. Particularly when so many businesses are vulnerable and the employment that they generate is still fragile.”

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