A Statement from Kian Griffin of Ireland Underground

Below is a copy of the statement read out in behalf of Ireland Underground at the recent Sinn Fein meeting at Wynns hotel in Dublin

"Let me first apologise that I am not able to attend this meeting in person. Due to work commitments I was unable to travel from Kerry this evening.

I would like to thank the Sinn Fein party for organising this meeting tonight and for their aid in promoting our demonstration this Saturday, the help is greatly appreciated. I would also like to acknowledge those who are here in my stead to represent Ireland Underground, without their efforts, this campaign would not be possible.

I established Ireland Underground in February as a simple motoring blog. My intention was to interview young drivers with modified cars and post their stories online, I thought it would go a little way towards removing the stigma attached to young drivers. I had hoped to at least relieve some of the discrimination that I, and others of my age, often receive because of the cars we drive. Each person I interviewed mentioned the same issues to me. The cost of fuel, the cost of tax for pre-2008 cars, issues with NCT and the poor quality of the roads. But above all, motor insurance was a thorn in the side of these motorists. Younger drivers have always paid extremely high premiums, but we laboured on under the impression that, eventually, the prices would come down as we got over. Now, however, the opposite is happening. Despite getting older, and haveing more driving experience, our premiums are increasing. Through no fault of our own. There are a whole host of factors contributing to the extortionate increases we are seeing, far too many for a single person to decipher and far too many to be ignored.

In the past couple of years the increases have spread across all demographics with no consistency whatsoever. As I delved deeper into the issues and began to speak out about them. Ireland Underground grew to represent, not just young drivers, but all drivers. The government has expressed “concern” and “sympathy” at our plight, but this is not enough. We need immediate and decisive action. I acknowledge and appreciate the recent motion which went through the Dáil with support from both Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein. I am delighted to see cross-party support on this issue, my only surprise is that, despite almost unanimous support, the government still drag their feet on the issue.

This is why it is absolutely vital that all who are able, drive through Dublin with us on Saturday. As a group, we have more power than any lobby group in the country. Combined we could grind Dublin city to a standstill and keep it that way if we so desired. On Saturday, we need every available voice to join us both in our convoy to Dublin and the rally following in Merrion square. The concern of the government is not enough, their sympathy is not enough. We have the momentum to make a real difference, we have a chance to significantly improve our situation. We need to grasp this chance and stand together to fight for what is right. For too long, motorists have been an easy target. Our costs have increased year on year, it is time to take a stand. Join us next Saturday and make a difference.

Thank you.

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