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PRICED OUT Truckers prepared to shut down Dublin's St Patrick's Day parade amid fuel price chaos

But Minister Eamon Ryan's promise on Friday of €100 a week for a heavy goods truck has staved off the possibility of street protests

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Ger Hyland is calling for the Government to do more

Ger Hyland is calling for the Government to do more

Ger Hyland is calling for the Government to do more

Truckers were prepared to shut down the St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin before a last minute deal worth €181m was struck with the Government amid fuel price chaos.

As controversy reigned this week with soaring petrol prices and fear of panic buying, hauliers said their business was on the brink. Transport boss Ger Hyland told the Sunday World on Wednesday such was the strength of feeling he said he would be surprised if the parade went ahead.

But Minister Eamon Ryan's promise on Friday of €100 a week for a heavy goods truck has staved off the possibility of street protests and blockades.

"It's not going to make a huge difference but, it's a platform to start off on."

"It will keep us off the streets for moment," he said on Saturday morning.

"The last thing we want to do is discommode the public and that's why before Christmas when some of transport people took to the streets we decided we wouldn't support it because people have been struggling over the last number of years."

"We have it for an eight-week period and we're sitting down again before the eight weeks are up. We hope to retain what we got and expand on it."

"Everything is evolving every day. Certainly we are grateful for the small bit we have got, the door is still open we are still negotiating."

Hyland, a member of the Irish Road Haulage Association management committee said truckers want the 7.5 cent tax rebate they get on a litre of diesel to be trebled.

Speaking on Wednesday he said if the current rate of increase continues "there won't be a St Patrick's Day parade."

"I'd be surprised if we didn't have Dublin blockaded. There is a strong possibility there will be no St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin."

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"We're at the stage where people are calling the association and they are absolutely in tears. I had a woman ring me last week she hadn't the price of a loaf bread."

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The first St Patrick’s Day parade since 2019 was under threat as hauliers considered protest in Dublin city centre

The first St Patrick’s Day parade since 2019 was under threat as hauliers considered protest in Dublin city centre

The first St Patrick’s Day parade since 2019 was under threat as hauliers considered protest in Dublin city centre

 

His trucks can easily now easily cost €2,000 in diesel a week to stay on the road and he fears there are already shortages of supply.

"It is happening as we speak. I had got diesel in this week - I had to get fuel from two different suppliers, because there was a shortage."

"I have two fears - one is that I can't get fuel and the other is that even when I am getting fuel, I'm running at such a loss that I'd probably be better off with the fleet parked up."

"There are hauliers out there at the present time with their fleets parked up. We're going back to 2010 with nothing but haulage companies falling off the cliff."

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A Garda directs drivers from The Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices during their protest at Merrion Square in Dublin

A Garda directs drivers from The Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices during their protest at Merrion Square in Dublin

A Garda directs drivers from The Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices during their protest at Merrion Square in Dublin

 

During the week he was being quoted diesel prices at €1.80 per litre before Vat compared to €1.03 this time last year which adds up when his trucks used 334,000 litres last year.

"We are passing on the price rise with a fuel surcharge but we can't keep pace with it."

The government 15 cent tax cut was wiped out by fuel increases on the day it was announced, according to Ger.

"We need that diesel rebate increased. It is capped at 7.5 cent per litre, so we need that to be somewhere around 28 to 30 cents today."

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This year will see the first St Patrick’s Day parades since 2019

This year will see the first St Patrick’s Day parades since 2019

This year will see the first St Patrick’s Day parades since 2019

 

The tax cuts came amid fears the sudden spike in prices could spark panic buying and cause shortages at forecourts, according to sources.

Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine has sent oil prices sky-high after 12 months of steady increases as the global economy woke up from the pandemic shutdown.

In the last few days it was hard to find garages selling petrol below €2 a litre compared to the average €1.30 in January 2021.

The lowest prices being reported were mostly at filling stations in rural Ireland outside the main urban centres.

The Automobile Association's Paddy Comyn described the factors forcing fuel prices skywards as "the perfect storm".

"During Covid the demand for petrol and diesel, and oil in general, fell through the floor, so production stopped and at one stage in 2020 to where it was $15 dollars a barrel."

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Increasing fuel prices as a result of the war in Ukraine

Increasing fuel prices as a result of the war in Ukraine

Increasing fuel prices as a result of the war in Ukraine

 

As the producers struggled to meet the growing demand in 2021 prices went up but jumped when the war in Ukraine began hitting the $139 mark at one point this week.

"In the last four weeks we've jumped from an average of €1.77 a litre to what looks like €2 for both petrol and diesel."

"Even with that reduction we will be at a record levels.

"We've seen higher oil prices before but we haven't had as much tax."

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