The head of business group DublinTown claims the 'nuclear button was pressed' on a trucker protest, before serious negotiations took place.
Richard Guiney was speaking as truckers planned to block Dublin Port in a demonstration over fuel prices.
Confusion marked the start of the protest early on Monday, with uncertainty as to where the convoy was going.
It was believed the truckers were headed for the city centre - as happened with a similar protest in November - but a Facebook update by the organisers suggested Dublin Port was the destination.
Truck drivers have started their convoy to Dublin Port.
They are protesting again over fuel prices.
A lot quieter at the Nass meeting point this morning compared to previous demonstration. @NewstalkFM pic.twitter.com/GcpuBBNAPc
— Josh Crosbie (@JoshCrosbie3) December 13, 2021
The group, 'Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices', are protesting the increased cost of petrol and diesel.
It says rising costs have put many hauliers in danger of going out of business.
A number of streets in Dublin city centre have been closed ahead of the protest.
Kildare Street and Molesworth Street are closed, along with parts of Merrion Street and Merrion Square.
Mr Guiney told Newstalk Breakfast this is hurting an already vulnerable sector of the economy.
"Obviously it's a very important time for retailers in the city, we're not having the best of Christmases for obvious reasons.
"There's a lot of jobs on the line, a lot of businesses that are struggling.
"I suppose the question is what negotiations and what discussions have taken place before there's such a protest like this?
"I think leadership involves having discussions and showing leadership before you press the nuclear button.
"And it does look like the nuclear button was pressed before the serious negotiations took place.
"Fuel prices rise, they fall - everybody knows that - we've all seen it in our electricity bills, for example.
"There's discussions to be had with retail groups; I'm not aware that any of those have taken place in terms of how costs such as this can be brought into the overall cost process".
He says industries should be helping each other instead of making things worse.
"The economy is something that's integrated, each section in the economy feeds into each other.
"And we've seen that really during the COVID crisis, how important all the various parts of the economy are for each other.
"Dublin city has struggled, retailers have struggled, everybody knows that our footfall is about three-quarters of what it would have been in 2019."