A trade union representing some driving instructors has called for the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to start a campaign to encourage more people to join the profession.

Unite members said more instructors would help address the backlog of people waiting for driving tests.

Darragh Dunne from the union told the Oireachtas Transport Committee that if somebody decides they want to become an instructor it can take six months and it is expensive.

Independent TD Michael Lowry told the hearing that "there are almost 100,000 waiting for a driving test and 50,000 waiting for a theory test. It is unacceptable."

Mr Dunne also defended his members' move to hold a series of small protests at driving test centres to highlight conditions at the centres.

Mr Dunne said the action only involved four or five people, who were socially distanced, and was called off as soon as Ireland moved to Level 5 coronavirus restrictions.

Deputy Paul Kehoe said: "I would think that if you are trying to build up a positive relationship with the RSA you would do that rather than protest."