Tens of thousands of Irish students from primary to third level took to the streets to demonstrate against climate change.

Article by Susan Clandillon

It was Ireland’s biggest climate protest to date, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets across the island of Ireland to protest against climate change. From Dingle to Derry young people, teachers, parents, families, and people from all walks of life took time off school, work or normal duties to call for urgent action to tackle the climate crisis.

Spearheaded by environmental superstar Greta Thunberg from New York, this was a truly global protest which saw young people the world over calling for better stewardship of the planet to safeguard it for future generations.

(images courtesy of Annette Vaucanson Kelly www.fouracorns.ie)

While it’s difficult to estimate the number of climate strikers globally, 350.org estimates that roughly 4 million people attended the protests. Overall there were 5,800 actions in 163 countries, across all seven continents. Yes, that’s right, there was also a demonstration in Antarctica!

It all started with Greta Thunberg sitting outside the Swedish Parliament in August 2018 protesting alone. Scarcely a year later the youth movement has mobilized. On Friday there were 40,000 people striking in France; 2,600 in Ukraine; 5,000 in South Africa; 10,000 in Turkey; 5,000 in Japan; 100,000 in London; 330,000 in Australia; 250,000 in NYC; and 1.4 million in Germany.

On Twitter, Stop Climate Chaos Ireland (a coalition of organisatons dedicated to ensuring that Ireland plays its part in stopping runaway climate change) called for crowd estimates from protesters around Ireland. The estimated figures were as follows:

Bayside (Dublin) 450
Belfast 4,000
Cork 5,000-7,000
Dingle 85
Drogheda 400
Dublin 15,000 – 20,000
Dundalk 250
Dundrum 350
Dun Laoghaire 1,000
Ennis 100
Enniscorthy 40
Enniskillen 50
Galway 700 – 800
Greystones 300
Kilkenny 200
Limerick 2,000
Manorhamilton 150
Maynooth 350
Navan 40
Tipperary 40
Tralee 150
Waterford 1,000

Since the European elections in Ireland we have seen green momentum building at a quickening pace. The strength of youth protests both at home and abroad send a strong message to those in power that we want greater action to tackle climate change with many calling on the Irish government to do more to reduce carbon emissions in line with the latest science.

With the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit kicking off on Monday (23 Sept 23, 2109) in New York, the young people have spoken and their voices will surely influence important conversations between world leaders on how to act urgently to solve the climate crisis. Ireland’s young people should be very proud.

(Header Photo courtesy of Climate Action Dun Laoghaire)