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, told The Irish Times that 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.”
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,” he told The Irish Times.
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.
The Irish Truckers & Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices was contacted for comment by The Irish Times.