A Facebook page, entitled Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices, has declared its intentions to return to the capital to stage another protest if the government fails to act.
They have warned that they will “bring this country to a halt” if they “do not get cheaper fuel”.
The group believes they have “strength and numbers” to do if there is not any change within the next week.
“Rebates are no good; we want fuel prices to drop at the pumps,” it said on the social media platform.
“This is a warning as to what we can do and if we don’t get what we want it will be a lot bigger next time; a full week of it if we have to. It will be fully stopped next time and all ports will be blocked aswell as motorways.”
“Unfortunately, we had a few unhappy commuters. Remember this is for you and the future of Ireland.”
“Some people today told us their fuel costs have gone up €20,000 in the past 4 months and they are running at a loss.”
“We are in dangerous waters. If the haulage industry crumbles, the whole country will too.”
“We have kept this country going during the pandemic. Have a look around you when you read this and think how did that get there? In a truck or a van at least once maybe even 3 or 4 times.”
“We learned a lot and planning will be better next time,” the group added.
The group said it is taking this action “for the people of Ireland, our future and our kids”.
“If we don’t get a chance, a lot of small operators will be out of business sooner than you think,” they added.
Farmers to support second protest
Independent TD, Richard O’Donoghue, shed light on the matter in Dáil Éireann on Thursday, November 25th, 2021.
The County Limerick representative drove his truck to the Dáil earlier this week in support of the protest.
In the Dáil on Thursday, he said:
“Yesterday, there was a protest here by the Irish Truckers and Haulage Association against Fuel Prices and SMEs.”
“Last night, I was informed those involved are planning a second protest that will include farmers, SMEs throughout the country and other organisations coming to the capital to highlight the national emergency because of the inflated cost of fuel, which is interfering with every household in Ireland. These are front-line workers.”
The deputy said he emailed the offices of the Tánaiste, the Taoiseach, and Minister Ryan, to seek an emergency meeting.
“I have also texted and sent WhatsApp messages to their phones for a meeting. I am looking for an emergency meeting to prevent this protest from going ahead and look after the people. This is a national emergency, and it needs to be dealt with like that,” he said.
In response, Leo Varadkar said that the government “understands and appreciates the fear, difficulty and anxiety” arising from high fuel prices.
“The government appreciates and understands the enormous impact that rising energy prices are having on people, whether it is households and families struggling with the bills or businesses.”
He said he engages with business all the time. Furthermore, the same businesspeople, whose main concern would have been finding staff or insurance costs in recent weeks, are now talking to him about the impact of high energy costs on them and the haulage sector.
He went on to stress that “international factors” are driving prices and that government “only has so much control over these things”.
O’Donoghue responded by claiming that the government controls 23% of such costs. Furthermore, he said, “2% of it was voted in this house on a carbon tax”.
Varadkar said: “It is 2%; that is correct,” but O’Donoghue argued that the government has “a further 19% at its disposal”.