People letting the air out of the tyres of SUVs are causing “real suffering”, a resident of South Dublin has claimed.
A climate action group responsible for the attacks opposes people driving large cars because of their high emissions, describing them as “unnecessary” and “pure vanity” in urban areas.
Speaking to Henry McKean for The Pat Kenny Show, one victim of the Tyre Extinguishers in Ranelagh said it had massively inconvenienced her.
“It was very irritating,” she said.
“It was annoying; it was the idea that someone was at your property and it just caused a lot of inconvenience the next day.
“I couldn’t get the tyre repaired, I had to go and get a compressor to inflate it.
“So, I wasn’t too happy.”
When asked if she had any sympathy with their concern for the environment, she agreed that she did but said letting down tyres is “not the way I’d go about trying to persuade somebody of a cause.”
Another Ranelagh resident was even more forthright in his assessment of the group’s activities and said they were unaware of the “real suffering” they’re causing.
“I think they’re being very selfish and they’re not thinking about the user,” he said.
“Their aim is noble but it’s very unfair for somebody who has to go to a hospital appointment in the morning, has got a sick child to bring to the hospital or has got to go to an urgent meeting.
“If they come out and find their car disabled, that’s gross interference and it’s abuse - it’s criminal.”
'Our cars are getting bigger'
Sunday Independent motoring correspondent Geraldine Herbert said she “wouldn’t agree with the protest but I can see where they’re coming from”.
“I think we have this unusual situation at the moment where our families are getting smaller but our cars are getting bigger,” she said.
“I think it’s important that people make those choices when it comes to their cars and they consider those things, ‘Do I really need a seven-seater if I only have two children?’”
Ms Herbert said many people buy an SUV because they feel “they don’t have a lot of choice” and car manufacturers should help them change.
“But I think the onus is also on carmakers, they have created this demand and we have responded by buying them and then in turn they’ve made more,” she said.
“It’s been this constant saga for the last 10 years and, as a result, more than half the cars we buy now are SUVs.”
In 2021, nearly 55% of all new cars sold in Ireland were SUVs.
Main image: A flat tyre. Picture by: Alamy.com