A demonstration was held in Dublin city centre today to protest at the cost of motor insurance for young drivers.

Motorists from around the country drove through the city before the demonstration in Merrion Square.

The motorists are calling on the Government to take action to stop spiralling costs of insurance premiums.

One of the organisers, Kian Griffin from Killorglin, Co Kerry, has been driving for years years with no penalty points or convictions.

He turns 25 today and had expected his car insurance premium to decrease. Instead it has increased to almost €1,000.

Insurance Ireland said the rise in premiums is directly linked to the increased number of claims, high awards and legal fees. 

It said for over 18 months it has been calling for urgent action to be taken to address the spiralling cost of claims by passing legislation to strengthen the role of the Injuries Board to help reduce expensive legal costs, increasing sanctions for those who are convicted of insurance fraud to deter offenders, and internationally bench-marking awards to levels in other jurisdictions.

Insurance Ireland also want to see the resolution of the Setanta Insurance judgement so its competitors are not asked to bail out a failed insurer.

In the Dáil last month Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said a taskforce has been established to review the motor insurance industry.

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan accused the Government of being asleep at the wheel.

Addressing the rally, she said: "The Irish motor insurance rip off has been allowed to happen with a Government asleep at the wheel and questionable regulation from the Central Bank.

"The State makes people have car insurance but thinks that it can turn a blind eye to the rip off that is rampant in the industry.

"For months and months they told us they had set up a review but only last week Michael Noonan confirmed to Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty TD that they haven't even started looking at the reasons for this increase.

"Meanwhile, young people are being forced off the roads and small businesses can't afford to hire people to drive their vans," she said.

Elsewhere, Fianna Fáil's John Lahart said the Government must take urgent action to tackle "exorbitant motor insurance costs."

His party has called for the re-establishment of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board on a time limited basis; greater disclosure around policy renewal notifications; action on the settlement of cases and dealing with false and exaggerated claims.

The Dublin South-West TD said the trend of rising premiums "is simply unsustainable and customers need a break."