Cork climate strike march Photo: Shamim Malekmian

Irish students set to strike again over climate inaction

May 8th, 2019

Students across Ireland are planning to strike again later this month to demand stronger Government action to tackle climate change.

The strike is set to take place on 24 May and will be a part of a Global Climate Strike For Future.

Prominent Irish school striker Saoi O’Connor announced times and locations for May 24 protests through her Twitter account.

Events will be held in counties Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Donegal, Meath, Clare and Kerry.

The announcement comes on the heels of last weekend’s protests in both Dublin and Cork that called on the Irish government to demand a national declaration of a climate emergency – a key demand of both Extinction Rebellion and the school strikes movement.

Climate emergencies were announced by Scotland, Wales, and Westminster last month and Wicklow became the first Irish county to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency at the end of April.

O’Connor, who continues to hold weekly school strikes in front of Cork City Hall, told The Green News that she feels like the movement is being heard but has yet to be listened to as “we’re not seeing the action.”

The 24 May strike is the second of its kind, following the global School Strike for Climate Action on 15 March. Internationally, over 1,700 strikes took place in some 112 countries the same day.  

Starting at St Stephen’s Green and making its way down to Leinster House, the 15 March action saw around 15,000 students call on the Government to adopt effective climate legislation.

The student climate strike movement began in August 2018 when Swedish climate activist and student Greta Thunberg began protesting on the steps of her parliament.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar welcomed the participation of Irish students in the international school climate strike in March, acknowledging that, “these are young people who are standing up to adults.”

Activists from Cork’s Extinction Rebellion branch held a climate vigil outside the Clayton Hotel last week while the Taoiseach attended a town hall meeting.

Protesters stood in silence outside the hotel with placards and banners to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the State’s lack of climate action.

For the second consecutive year, Ireland has been singled out as the worst performing country in Europe for addressing climate change.

Additionally, the country remains way off track to meet its 2020 and 2030 climate targets according to the latest EPA data.

Earlier this week, a landmark UN global assessment found that one million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction and declining at rates unprecedented in human history.

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