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Photos: Thousands of students hit the streets for climate change demonstrations

Second-level students descended on city centres this afternoon as part of the demonstrations.

008 Strike 4 Climate_90566517 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

THOUSANDS OF SECOND-level students swapped the classroom for the streets today as they engaged in strikes to demonstrate against government inaction on climate change.

The marches in Dublin and Cork this afternoon form part of a global movement initiated by 16-year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, who began protesting outside Swedish Parliament last August.

There are over 1,000 similar marches taking place worldwide today.

School Strike 4 Climate Source: RollingNews.ie

Thousands gathered near Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green just after midday before marching on Leinster House.

Ireland’s environmental woes have been well documented, with the country well on course to miss vital emissions targets and face hefty fines. 

School Strike 4 Climate Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Minister Richard Bruton admitted late last year that the country is “far off course” and “way off target”, and it required a “huge step up” from government is required if Ireland is to play its part in cutting emissions.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

The movement has been supported by a number of organisations and political parties.

An Taisce’s climate change committee spokesperson said: “Today’s children and teenagers are the young voters of tomorrow, and they will, in their tens of thousands, sweep politicians from power who continue to bend the knees to vested interests and look the other way as environmental destruction continues unchecked.”

School Strike 4 Climate Source: RollingNews.ie

Siptu also backed the strike, with its head of equality and policy Marie Sherlock saying it’s “tremendous to witness the rise of a grassroots movement of young people” working to ensure effective action is taken on climate change. 

Commenting on today’s protests, Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley said: “here needs to be many different polices put in place to create the change we need to protect our environment and protect future generations.

These policies will be across many different areas so that the green and cleaner alternatives are in place, and so this state will no longer be the laggard when it comes to climate change.

0447 Children Climate protest_90566521 Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

The students also received the backing of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

He told the Dáil earlier this month: “The fact that young people are taking action, protesting and are going to strike and take a break from school on 15 March is good.

“They are children, pupils and students telling all the adults in all parties to get our act together and to do more about climate change because it is their future that is in jeopardy.”

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Sean Murray

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