Foreign hauliers ‘break the law’

The president of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has called on the State to enforce the law against some foreign hauliers who are operating illegally in Ireland.

Foreign hauliers ‘break the law’

The Road Safety Authority confirmed it is investigating the claims.

IRHA president Eoin Gavin said foreign truck drivers were breaching European Cabotage legislation by working here long-term without an Irish haulage licence. Hauliers found to be in breach of the law face a maximum fine of €500,000.

Mr Gavin, and 16 other hauliers set up a blockade at Foynes Port, Co Limerick, on Tuesday night, to try to stop a group of hauliers leaving the port.

Mr Gavin claimed the blockade was removed when gardaí gave assurances the loads would not be transported from the port until all documentation was checked.

However, a Garda source said: “The load is made up of wind turbines which are very large to transport, and it couldn’t have moved anyway as the permits and arrangements to move the load weren’t ready to go last night (Tuesday).”

“We would have to provide a Garda escort, close roads, and possibly take up telephone and electricity poles. It’s a big operation,” the source said. “We were made aware of the IRHA demonstration and we did go down to the port. It was made clear to the demonstrators that the load wasn’t going anywhere. That’s why the blockade was removed.”

Foynes Port contacted media outlets to distance themselves from the demonstration. It stated it had no involvement.

When contacted for comment, Garda Jim Molloy, Garda Press Office, stated: “We will enforce any legislation. Anybody who has information about any illegal activity should contact us.”

Mr Gavin said some foreign hauliers have been blatantly flouting the law for the past two years.

He said some foreign hauliers were legally allowed to work in Ireland for brief periods, and only if they were transporting international cargo into or through Ireland. However, he said some foreign hauliers were basing themselves in Irish B&Bs for weeks, paying no tax, and operating illegally.

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