June 6th, 2019
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the centre of the capital this evening to protest against the policies of US President Donald Trump during his Irish visit.
Multiple environmental organizations and political parties participated in the action, including the Green Party, Futureproof Clare, and Extinction Rebellion Ireland.
“Donald Trump is head of the world’s most powerful state that could play a pivotal role in tackling the climate emergency the world faces,” Ciaran O’Carroll of Extinction Rebellion Ireland said.
“Instead, during Trump’s presidency, the US has pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, which was already wholly inadequate, and has been a block to the kind of action we need,” he added.
President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement in 2017 and has consistently dismissed warnings of potential dire climate catastrophes.
On a domestic level, the Trump administration has rolled back 84 environmental regulations to date in the US according to the New York Times.
In a speech on Tuesday, Irish President Michael D Higgins urged Trump to reconsider his course of action, adding that pulling out of the Paris Agreement is a “regressive and pernicious decision”.
“I think Trump and the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement was catastrophic in terms of climate action,” said protest participant Maeve Stone as the crowd began to take shape.
“I think coming to something like this today sends a message not only in solidarity to the millions of Americans that feel the pressure of that coming down the line but also with the Irish people who are trying to get the attention of a very slow-moving Government,” Ms Stone added.
Arriving in Shannon yesterday, President Trump traveled to his golf resort in Doonbeg, Co. Clare where protesters from numerous causes gathered in opposition, including Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE).
FIE’s director Tony Lowes delivered a petition to the town’s Garda Sergeant signed by over 100,000 people opposing the construction of a coastal defence wall at Trump’s resort.
President Trump also favours increasing the European market for liquified natural gas (LNG) from the US, a large percentage of which comes from the fracking industry.
A proposed LNG terminal in the Shannon estuary has been opposed by several environmental groups, including Futureproof Clare. “The emissions from fracking are horrendous,” Anne Marie Naughton of Futureproof Clare told The Green News.
“If this infrastructure is built, Ireland will be dependent on fracked gas for 30 to 50 years during a time when we need to be transitioning to renewables,” she added.
The project has been on hiatus for the past decade since planning permission was first granted in March 2008 with a legal case ongoing presently over the validity of a decision to extend planning permission for the project.