Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has called on the Government to take immediate action in order to combat illicit and washed diesel, which has seen millions of euro being made from illegal sales.

FTAI has outlined the enormous financial loss to the Irish Exchequer through the use of illicit and washed diesel, saying that, as a result, the issue is causing huge damage to compliant operators.

During a meeting with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, FTAI highlighted the enormity of the problem of the sale of illegal fuel in the Republic of Ireland.

FTAI asked for the issue to be addressed by Government and attention in particular to be drawn to the issue by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

Attending the meeting (on behalf of FTAI and its members), were Tom Wilson, FTA Ireland's General Manager, and Niall Cotton, FTAI President, who both outlined to Minister Varadkar the ongoing problem of illegal fuel sales, and asked for an immediate resolution.

The Minister in turn acknowledged the points raised by the FTAI representatives, who informed him of the growing support from a number of major business organisations calling for rebated diesel (gas oil) to remain unmarked, which would immediately take away the attraction of removing the dye.

Tom Wilson, FTA Ireland's General Manger, said: "Unless immediate action is taken by Government there will be further damage caused to the compliant operators and failure to deal with this will send out the message that this Government is prepared to allow serious criminals to continue making millions of euro from sales of illegal fuel."