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Truckers to bring city to halt with 'lightning' protest

SENIOR gardai were last night trying to find out when a "massive" truck protest aimed at crippling Dublin will take place.

The Irish Road Haulage Association had earlier pencilled in Wednesday, February 22, as a date for hundreds of truckers to descend on the capital.

However, the Irish Independent has learned that the date was merely a "diversionary tactic" and that the protesters are planning a "lightning" protest.

Donegal-based haulier John McLaughlin has spent the past few weeks speaking at public meetings of truckers around Ireland, but he refused to be drawn on the date.

"I've heard that date and certainly it has been mentioned on the internet but I'm going to tell the Irish Independent what I told gardai when they called me this weekend, and that is there will be no pre-announcement," he said.

"What I can say is that it will be 'lights out' this time. We will not be going home too quickly afterwards either," he warned.

A wide range of other groups also plan to descend on Dublin on the same day to cause as much disruption as possible, one campaigner said.

Ryan Stewart, an anti-austerity campaigner who is also from Co Donegal, confirmed that "a wide range" of groups from throughout the Republic were in talks about coordinating street protests in Dublin on the same day.

"We don't want to give too much detail at this stage," he said.

It's understood up to 400 lorry drivers have expressed an interest in taking part in the Dublin gridlock plans with sources suggesting even more than that could be involved.

The truckers may also attempt to block ports with one source saying "French-style tactics" could be adopted as part of the action.

A garda spokesman said: "The issue has been raised with the traffic division."

Irish Independent