A protest by lorry drivers blocking the East Link bridge in Dublin today has come to an end.
Ublin City Council Traffic Management Center tweeted this evening that all access roads to the Point roundabout are now open as the protest has ended.
These include the Tom Clarke Bridge/East Link and the Sean Moore Roundabout to East Wall/Sheriff Street.
A small group of hauliers who had been protesting rising fuel prices left Dublin just after 6.30pm, having remained there since early morning blocking traffic in the port area.
A spokesman for An Garda Síochána said they monitored a demonstration in Dublin city center throughout the day.
“The demonstration has now ended,” they added.
“An Garda Síochána will continue to provide up-to-date traffic information on our social media channels as needed.”
Earlier this morning Gardaí issued parking tickets to truckers involved in the protest which brought traffic to a standstill around Dublin Port and 3 Arena.
Such tickets do not carry penalty points, but it is understood that the Gardaí kept this option open if drivers did not continue.
Truckers have called for Transport Secretary Eamon Ryan to resign, saying they want diesel at €1.20 a liter and petrol at €1.10.
Fuel is currently selling for around €2 a litre, amid rising inflation, and protesters said they would not move until their demands were met.
A planned meeting point for protesters on foot at the GPO, from where they were due to leave for the 3 Arena at 9am, was very quiet when visited by Independent.ie today.
The group People of Ireland Against Fuel Prices has said transport companies are in a “crisis” and companies are struggling to stay afloat.
The group had warned participants that the protest “would last at least a couple of days but is expected to be there for a week”.
Independent.ie has reached out to Garda’s press office and Mr Ryan’s office for comment.
During the day, some truck drivers stayed in their parked cabs while others stood in groups on the street.
Gardaí at the scene warned drivers to remove their vehicles from the public road or face disability fines.
Many of them refused, telling Gardai they would stay “for the rest of the day”.
All drivers were fined for obstructing a public road, and others could face penalty points for refusing to obey a Garda order.
They were warned that they could face further penalties if they continued to refuse to exercise.
A number of protesters left the area in the morning after the group voted on whether to end the protest.
One protester, who declined to publish his name, said he was protesting rising fuel costs across the country.
“It just got out of control. We’re not even doing this for the lorry drivers, we’re doing this for the people of Ireland because kerosene and all that has gone at that price,” he said.
“People should follow us here and help us any way they can. Our costs have tripled and it is no longer sustainable and no longer feasible.”
Demonstrators refused to say how long the protest would last.
“It’s the right way because there is no other way. We can’t find another way,” he added.
“Eamon Ryan and the government are not listening to us, so what choice do we have? We don’t want to disturb people.
“I just had to get up with everyone else. Why shouldn’t I?
“I might as well be here with everyone else.”
In a social media post this morning, the group unveiled their list of demands, including drastic caps on fuel prices and Eamon Ryan’s resignation as Transport Secretary effective immediately.
“Our demands are as follows and we will not move until they are agreed,” the group wrote.
Their demands were listed as follows:
– Petrol limited to €1.10 per liter
– Diesel limited to €1.20 per liter
– Green diesel and home heating oil capped at 65c per litre
“These figures are inclusive of VAT and apply to everyone at home and at the pump!” the group said.
– Abolition of the CO2 tax
– Eamon Ryan is resigning effective immediately
“This will benefit every household and business in Ireland,” the group claimed.
Irish truckers and hauliers had announced they would bring the city of Dublin to a ‘standstill’ this week in protest at rising fuel costs and that the demonstration would be ‘one for the history books’ after several similar events late last year.
The protesters were previously known as The Irish Trucker and Haulage Association against Fuel Prices. They are not affiliated with the official Irish Road Haulage Association.
Taking to social media, the group said: “All vehicles are welcome.
Cars, trucks, buses, vans, tractors, motorcycles, taxis, RVs, etc.
Come prepared for at least 1 week maybe even 2‼️
Bring heaters, marquees, tents, food, etc.‼️”
They asked for support from the public, adding: “We will need food and refreshments, we will also use local shops and restaurants to support them.”
“There’s no turning back, we shouldn’t even have to do it!!” Said.
“Once we’re in, we stop and don’t move until our demands are met!!”
The group added: “Remember this is for the people of Ireland and we will all benefit from it.”
They said the majority of the vehicles and drivers were owned by the company and taking part in the protest was a huge sacrifice financially and to the future of their companies.
“We want a peaceful protest, so anyone planning to cause trouble please stay home,” they warned.
“We hope you all understand and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience caused.”
They concluded, “Let this be a week to remember and one for the history books,” adding the names of Leo Varadkar, Micheál Martin, Eamon Ryan, Mary Lou McDonald, Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue, Michael Healy Rae and Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty.”
“Now is the time to stand up with the people for Ireland’s future,” the group said.
Protesters gathered at locations on the M1, M4, M7 and near the M11/M50 junction at 3am this morning.
In a social media post this morning, the group encouraged those with vehicles to drive into Dublin via the Harbor Tunnel and then to the 3 Arena roundabout, while those on foot leave the GPO for the 3 Arena around 10:30am.
In a post on Facebook, the group said: “We are a group of truck companies struggling to stay afloat and have joined forces with farmers, bus companies, taxis and the general public to fight against the cost of doing business to protest living expenses are not affordable.
“We are all in a crisis. In relation to the protest, Dublin and the surrounding areas of Dublin will come to a standstill and the protest will not just be a one day protest but will be a lengthy process until our demands are met.”
The group has condemned the government’s plan to introduce a carbon tax on May 1st.
“How are people going to get school or work? How are the elderly and disadvantaged going to pay for these increases? Not only diesel, petrol, but also electricity and gas. It’s cruel the situations families find themselves in when they have to choose between food, warmth and transportation.
“It’s 2022 in a first world country, we can and must do better,” the statement said.
“Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did not work hard and pay taxes all their lives so that we live in poverty. The government has the power to help and we need it now.”
The group said the protest was “for the people of Ireland” and would “benefit” everyone.
They urged people to “show respect and support.”
“We want a peaceful protest so anyone planning to cause trouble please stay home. We hope you all understand and apologize for the inconvenience caused in advance,” the group said.
On Monday morning, DublinTown Business Group chief executive officer Richard Guiney said businesses were still vulnerable in the wake of the pandemic and further disruption was not needed.
“Of course you have to wait and see what happens. Certainly protests and disruptions are not really what the city needs, we are still in a fragile state after the pandemic. So there are concerns about the impact,” he told RTÉ Tomorrow Ireland.
“We think we obviously understand that businesses, and indeed our customers and employees, are experiencing inflation. This is of course undesirable, especially when energy costs are rising as they are.
“But I suppose what we could say is that rather than one sector negatively impacting another, we need to work on this. Especially when so many companies are vulnerable and the jobs they create are still weak.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/truckers-protest-in-dublin-city-centre-comes-to-an-end-41540749.html The truck protest in Dublin is coming to an end