Motorists are asked not to panic buy despite a shortage of petrol and diesel.
Petrol imports are not matching current demands, which are up around ten per cent on last year.
The most obvious suggestion to ease the fuel shortage is for motorists to leave their cars at home and to take public transport. However, the bus maintenance men are currently following a work-to-rule and the streets of Dublin remain choked with cars. The problem is nationwide and some farmers are complaining of getting only about a third of the amount of diesel oil they ordered. Some petrol stations have now completely run out of stock or have introduced a rationing system.
Some garages have empty pumps or have introduced their own form of rationing.
There are some arguing for an increase in oil prices to bring them in line with prices in Britain. As Ireland pays less, oil that should be coming here is going to other countries which can yield higher profits.
At a time when many garages are short of supplies, a restrictive practices commission have been meeting in Dublin to discuss competition and retail petrol distribution. The Petrol Retailers Association are among those attending the meeting. Spokesman for the Petrol Retailers Association Tony O'Neill describes the situation as "a little bit hazy" in terms of figures on the petrol cutbacks. He dismisses any urgency for panic buying at the moment but does say,
You may have to walk a little more than you did before.
Tony O'Neill believes there is a need for the government to intervene and lay down some guidelines on the situation.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 March 1979. The reporter is Colm Connolly.