President of the Irish Road Haulage Association Eugene Drennan has said that there is a "dire need" for more lorry drivers.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Mr Drennan said there is a huge shortage of drivers.

"It may not be quite as big a number as the UK, but for our size and pro rata it is very high.

"We need somewhere around 10,000 drivers now from commercial vans, through to rigid trucks, through to arctics."

Mr Drennan said that he has written to the Department of Transport and insists that the issue needs to be given more attention.

"There needs to be heads knocked together and an urgency brought to this, because we need the drivers now, not in ten weeks, not in three months," he said.

He said that there are several different causes for the shortage.

"It's a variety of things - it is Covid for sure, working remotely.

"The foreign drivers who we depend on went home and haven't come back," he said.

He claimed that some of these drivers are in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Mr Drennan said that drivers from outside the EU could help alleviate the pressure.

"We have to go outside the EU. We have to get a broader range of permits to come under licence here."

He insisted that wages are "pretty good now in driving".

The average weekly take home pay is between €700 and €800, he said.