By Dominic McGrath, PA
Significant disruption was reported in Dublin on Monday evening, as hauliers staged their second protest in a month.
Hauliers from across the country had gathered on the outskirts of the city early on Monday, before making their way in convoy into Dublin’s port, with some going through the city centre.
Heavy delays were reported in the East Wall area around Dublin Port on Monday afternoon, with motorists warned to avoid the area if possible.
The protest also led to the temporary closure of the Dublin Tunnel South Bore due to congestion at the port, with the protest causing disruption to rush-hour traffic in and out of the capital later in the evening.
The protest, organised by Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices, saw over 30 vehicles block the area around Dublin Port.
A Facebook page which appears to be co-ordinating the protest urged drivers to give way to emergency vehicles and to protest peacefully.
Drivers are believed to have left the port just before 6pm.
Drivers at the port had said they expected to remain in the city for several hours.
Tom Dineen, one of the drivers, told the PA news agency: “It’s for diesel and taxes and just to get them down.
“We’re going to keep doing this and we’re not moving today so we’re going to stay here.”
He said they would stay for “as long as it takes” and that more drivers would be arriving as the day went on.
— Dublin Port Traffic (@DubPortTraffic) December 13, 2021
Mr Dineen defended the disruption, saying: “It’s for everyone, it’s not just for us.
“It’s for every man and woman going to work in the morning.
“Driving a car, a bike, a van. It is everyone.”
Gardai had warned in advance of possible traffic disruption, with people asked to plan ahead and to use public transport or walk where possible.
They gathered in and around Dublin Port as the protest began.
On Sunday, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said the Government had engaged with the Irish Road Haulage Association, which opposes the protests, over measures to tackle fuel costs.
“That’s the way to do business though. What is not the way to do business is for splinter groups to blockade, effectively, our capital city tomorrow and cause other hard-pressed taxpayers very significant difficulty in going about their business, and indeed people in accessing our health services and the like.”
Andrew Cast, a driver from Kinsale in Co Cork, drove up to Dublin on Sunday.
“Something needs to change, something has to happen.”
He did not rule out more protests in the future if the Government fails to respond.
“They’re all civil servants. They’re all employed by us to do their job and they’re not doing it.
“They’re not working on our behalf, which they’re paid to do.”