Thousands of Irish students took to the streets last Friday to protest the Government’s inaction in the face of climate change.
The marches, part of a worldwide protest against inaction on climate change, saw students across the country put down pencils and pick up posters.
The marches were inspired by the actions of the Swedish school girl, Greta Thunberg. Thunberg kick-started the movement last year when instead of going to school went and sat outside the Swedish parliament in protest against climate change.
Thunberg’s actions sparked the movement “Fridays for Future”. This movement sees students all over the world strike for the day and protest outside government buildings. Friday saw the involvement of students all over the globe; of all different nationalities using their voices to protest for change.
Protests took place in an estimated 37 locations throughout Ireland. The largest marches took place in Dublin and Cork.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar welcomed the protest in the Dáil earlier in the week when he said that he felt “inspired” by the actions of the Irish students. Students, however, are looking for action, not words.
In Dublin, an estimated ten thousand students rallied outside St. Stephens Green before marching to Dáil Eireann. The protestors were a sea of colour, brandishing homemade posters and face paint. It was led by students banging on drums and chanting for immediate action on climate change.
The crowd of predominantly secondary school students filled Molesworth Street and spilled over on to Dawson Street. There was a stage erected where student activists addressed the crowds.
Fifth-year student, Eabha Kelly, was one of the students present at the march.
“I don’t support climate change,” said Kelly, “I’m here to use my voice to make our Government realise that all of us young people here want change and want them to listen and take us seriously.”
“We need to show that we are invested in our future and that we want the people with the power to protect the world we’re living in”.