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TD insists borrowed truck in Dáil protest stunt is ‘fully insured’


Truck was parked in Leinster House as part of unofficial truckers protest

Truck was parked in Leinster House as part of unofficial truckers protest

Truck was parked in Leinster House as part of unofficial truckers protest

A TD who drove a truck into the grounds of the Dáil in a protest stunt has said he does not even own the vehicle.

The Independent deputy said the truck was insured, even though the disc is not visible.

The MAN tractor unit was parked outside Leinster House as part of yesterday’s unofficial protest by drivers that blocked Dublin city.

Not having insurance is an offence, as is a failure to display a valid insurance disc on a vehicle.

Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue had parked the truck at Government Buildings for the past two days. The Limerick deputy – who is a builder, not a haulier – said on Tuesday the truck belonged to him.

“I have driven my truck to Dublin and into Leinster House today in protest over the government failure to act on the fuel crisis,” he said, encouraging truckers to “come out and protest”.

The valid and up-to-date tax disc and Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Test (CVRT) disc are visible on the dashboard. The CVRT is the equivalent of an NCT for large vehicles.

It is a roadworthiness test for all commercial vehicles, buses with more than eight passenger seats and ambulances and confirms a vehicle satisfies basic safety standards.

Mr O’Donoghue said the truck, which he has on loan, was insured.

“As my regular truck is currently in for a service, this is a replacement truck which is fully insured and the insurance disc was on display placed on the dashboard,” he said.

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His arrival into Leinster House with a truck caused some surprise.

He later explained it was there to support the protest against rising fuel costs.

The Oireachtas has previously prohibited displays of party logos, campaign branding or protest paraphernalia. However, parking the truck did not fall foul of any of those rules.

A spokesperson for the Houses of the Oireachtas said: “Members are allowed to park once they don’t restrict access for emergency vehicles and in accordance with health and safety requirements.”

There is no evidence the truck concerned is not insured.

However, visual checks and photos failed to show an insurance disc on display.

Offences for driving without insurance are prosecuted in court.

Failure to display an insurance disc carries a fixed charge of €60.

If you drive while uninsured, you could be fined up to €5,000 and receive five penalty points.

Offenders can also be sent to prison for up to six months.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the fuel cost crisis is being driven by global energy price rises.

He said the problem was not unique to Ireland.

Mr Martin told the Dáil
the diesel rebate scheme already offers partial relief to hauliers.

He said he stood over carbon tax rises, saying it was a small cost overall.

Carbon taxes were the right, if not the popular, thing to do, he added.

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