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dáil gates

"I feel very weak in the mornings": These two men are staging a five day pre-election fast

They’re “ratcheting up” their campaigning, as “all of the other actions of protest have made no difference”.

UNIMPRESSED WITH HOW little attention climate issues have been getting in this year’s election campaign – two activists have taken a somewhat extreme step in a bid to generate engagement.

Philip Kearney and Nils Sundermann are on day four of a five-day fast outside the gates of Leinster House.

They’re camping out during business hours each day – hoping to buttonhole politicians as they conduct campaign events, and generate interest among reporters.

Kearney, who’s 65, said this afternoon he was feeling “remarkably okay” heading into the final day of their action.

They’ll be back on Kildare Street again tomorrow, he said – and would be finishing up at around 5pm so they can go and vote.

The former Greenpeace activist added:

I feel very weak in the mornings. But then you just take some liquids and you feel better – most of the time.

The two men are consuming liquids only during their fast. Kearney is allowing himself an occasional dissolved stock cube too.

He said they were “ratcheting up” their campaigning as “all of the other actions of protest have made no difference”. Sundermann, who’s 24, also cycled to Paris in December – ahead of the landmark COP21 environment conference.

Asked, simply, what they’d like politicians to do – Kearney said:

Very radical action responding to what the scientists are saying. Unless there are very extensive emissions cuts we’re facing into serious climate catastrophe with huge implications for future generations and for people in developing countries.

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Greens aside (Kearney is a member of the party, Sundermann isn’t) very few politicians have been actively campaigning on climate issues in the run-up to tomorrow’s vote.

The issue was barely mentioned in the leaders’ debates – and when the four main party leaders were grilled on it during this week’s final RTÉ debate they seemed reluctant to respond.

Read: 9 things you need to know about the final Leaders’ Debate of the election >

Read: You wait all day for the Greens’ election bus – and when it arrives it’s mildly terrifying >

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