Hundreds of people gathered for protests across the island of Ireland on Friday as part of a global climate strike.
A rally closed off one side of Merrion Square in Dublin, as protesters gathered to demand urgent action to tackle climate change.
Protesters also observed a minute’s silence for the Ukrainian people at the event, organized by Fridays for Future.
Speaker after speaker called on the Irish government and world leaders to do more to tackle the threat of global warming and climate change.
The Green Party has been warned that young voters will scrutinize its record in government in the next election.
The speakers were cheered by shouts and applause from a crowd that included dozens of school children in uniform.
Some politicians joined the protest for a while on Friday afternoon, which brought a carnival atmosphere to the streets just steps from government buildings.
Newly installed Labor leader Ivana Bacik joined the crowd, along with People Before Profit TDs Paul Murphy and Brid Smith.
Aine Dempsey, 19, one of the speakers at the rally, is already a seasoned climate activist.
This is the third year that she has been involved in the Fridays for Future climate movement.
She said the government was “clearly not” doing enough to tackle climate change.
“I think everyone here is showing exactly what people have about the recent climate crisis.
“We had several crises, one after the other. Covid, which deserved to be treated like the crisis it was. We now have the Ukraine crisis and it deserves to be treated as the crisis it is.
“But the climate crisis has not gone away in all of this.
“We’re here today to put the climate conversation back on the map, right in your face, because we’re running out of time.”
Anya Bazilo, from kyiv in Ukraine, also addressed the protesters by waving a Ukrainian flag.
She fled her town to join her family in Ireland after the outbreak of war.
“You see a smile on my face, because I see your incredible energy and your incredible smiles and your outlook on the future that you want to live in.
“A beautiful and safe environment for all of us – for Ireland, for Ukraine, for Europe, for the world.
“Thank you so much for putting a smile on my face for the first time. Thank you.”
In Dublin, Oluwaseun Ola Sabigurl also spoke about the experience of people in direct delivery and the importance of including all voices in climate activism.
Demonstrations took place across the island, with climate protesters also gathering in Cork, Galway and Belfast.
At the Belfast protest, Kay Laverty of Fridays for Future Northern Ireland challenged Stormont politicians to meet emissions reduction commitments under the recent Climate Change Act.
“We’ve had a whole bunch of people here raising awareness about the climate crisis and lobbying the NI assembly to act on the climate bill they’ve come up with,” she said. declared.
Ms Laverty said campaigners viewed the measures agreed by world leaders at Cop26 in Glasgow last year as insufficient, calling the event “Flop26”.
Addressing the climate strike protest in Belfast, NI Green Party deputy leader Mal O’Hara said climate deniers are now climate retardants.
“They laughed at us when, 40 years ago, as an environmental movement, we started talking about the dangers of climate change and its impact on our natural world and on our people,” he said. told the crowd that had gathered downtown for the protest.
“They laughed at us, they ignored us, now those who were deniers are just laggards and we won’t let them hold us back as we demand a fairer, fairer and greener world.”