News | 10 May 2019

Dublin horse and carriage drivers’ livelihoods are at risk

Campaigners are calling to urgently repeal old Victorian legislation regulating horse drawn carriages in Dublin. Some of the carriage drivers have been doing this job their whole lives. One driver explains how his Grandfather took care of horses his whole life in Guinnesses’ Brewery. Another told how his family did the coal and logs around Ballyfermot, horses were their life. According to David Mulreany, Carraige Driver and a representative for the group, the men have paid fees, insurance and have provided certificates and background checks to the local council for 15 years, but they’re livelihoods are now in limo as they struggle to find a solution.

Dublin Horse and carriage drivers led a convoy to Leinster House today to ask that new bye-laws be made for drivers in Dublin City Centre, the carraiges are a fantastic tourist attraction in Dublin City Centre and provide self-employment to the men involved.

Since 2018 Dublin City Council no longer issue licences for carriage drivers that allow them to operate commercially, due to an old Victorian law that sees this responsibility go towards ‘a police force’ (Dublin Carriage Acts 1853, 1853 and 1855).

This resulted in the Dublin City Control of Horse Drawn Carriages bye-laws of 2011 to not be valid. 

This has left many carriage drivers in a ‘legal limbo’ as they are unsure of what happens next.

They say they worry that a lack of bye-laws could lead to unlicensed operators and they have safety concerns for animal welfare. A sentiment echoed by My Lovely Horse Rescue who also attended today.

The drivers delivered a letter to Minister of Transport Shane Ross which asks to enable Dublin City Council to draft new, improved and enforceable bye-laws. A journalist from The contacted the Department of Transport about the issue. It stated that since the older Dublin-specific legislation was not repealed, Dublin City Council has no legal basis to make bye-laws.

Minister Ross has requested that the Department of Transport engage with An Garda Síochana and Dublin City Council to seek separate legal advice.

It’s a very sad and unsure situation for the group who are doing a decent days work in our city.


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