Protesters across Ireland demand action to halt species extinction

Published by Shamim Malekmian on

November 19th, 2018

Protesters gathered across Irish cities this weekend to demand an end to Government inaction to tackle climate change and for leaders to address unprecedented species extinction on our planet.

The demonstrations held in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Belfast saw citizens’ strongly voicing their environmental concerns and frustrations.

Protestors rebuked Government inaction in tackling global warming and demanded a more radical approach to tackling species extinction.

A recent report from the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London revealed that human activity has claimed the lives of 60 per cent of the world’s animals.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also recently warned that we only have 12 years left to take concrete action to avert dangerous climate breakdown.

Cork protest on species extinction Shamim Malekmian

Cork protest on species extinction Shamim Malekmian

Wiped out

Speaking in Dublin on Saturday, the Green Party’s Grace O’Sullivan said that the Irish people “need leadership” to tackle such problems but that they are “not seeing it”.

She said that we have an opportunity now to transition to a new way of living powered by renewables. Without an urgent transition, she warned that “we will be wiped out”.

Dara McAnulty, a 14-year-old naturalist from Fermanagh, travelled down to Dublin to join those “making a stand for nature, wildlife and our planet”.

“For the first time in human history, the planet has been handed down to a generation, my generation, in a worse state than it was given to us,” he said.

“Do you want to hand us a broken world unable to reverse the catastrophe that was created by us,” he asked.

System change needed

Demonstrators in Cork paid tribute to extinct species around the world by presenting a short introduction of all animals that have gone extinct due to human activity to date.

Speaking at the Cork event, Trocaire’s head of policy, Dr Lorna Gold, said that she spent her youth in meetings and seminars trying to find a solution to climate change.

Now, she has concluded that a tangible “system change” does not start from “cosy conference rooms”.

Dr Gold said that years of lobbying with the Government have turned out to be fruitless and that we need to voice our environmental concerns publicly.

“We thought it was better to be on the inside implementing incremental changes than standing outside in the cold shouting,” she said.

“I realised that the most important thing that I can do now is to try to communicate my own concerns for the next generation and for our planet.”

Dr Lorna Gold photo Shamim Malekmian

People power

Dr Gordon Reid of the Green Party also addressed the crowd in Cork and said that the power of people in stopping big businesses from exploiting the environment cannot be negated.

“The reason we don’t have an incinerator in Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour is because people around the harbour have been fighting for two decades to stop it,” Dr Reid said.

Dr Reid also said that human activity is the root cause of global warming and animal extinction and that a collective will for change can stop such problems.

“We have caused it, and we can stop it. Every species that has not been yet killed off, we can save,” he said.

“Today we are here to remember and mourn the species that humans have killed, but also to commit ourselves to make sure that this mass extinction is stopped in its tracks.”

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Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.