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'Danny Healy-Rae can say what he likes ... he has to open his eyes'

This Greens senator and former Rainbow Warrior crew-member has a thing or two to say about the Kerry TD’s comments.

THIS MONTH’S COMMENTS on climate change (or rather, the lack of it) by the recently-elected Danny Healy-Rae were met with ridicule in some quarters, but the reaction among the Green Party could probably better be characterised as ‘dismay’.

The Kerry TD contended, you’ll recall, that humans had “no act or part” in contributing to changes in climate, adding:

God above is in charge of the weather and … we here can’t do anything about it.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Greens leader Eamon Ryan was keen to set Healy-Rae straight, telling the Irish Independent:

“There is the same scientific understanding about climate change as there is about gravity existing.”

Regarding God’s alleged involvement, he added:

If only it was true. But all the science for the past 150 years shows this has been happening.

Talk about the weather

The party’s newest elected Oireachtas member, unsurprisingly, agrees.

Grace O’Sullivan, who has been elected to the Seanad on the Agricultural Panel, is a former surf champion and veteran environmental activist.

In an interview with TheJournal.ie, she said she witnessed the effects of climate change first hand as she visited the tiny island nations of the South Pacific aboard Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior in the 1980s.

“Danny Healy-Rae can say what he likes,” O’Sullivan said.

He has to open his eyes. He’s representing a lot of people and he does have a national voice now.

She added:

We might be smug here in Ireland. We’re not when the floods come. We’re not when we look at the erosion. But there’s people in other countries that are absolutely threatened by climate change.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

O’Sullivan, from Tramore, happened to bump into the Kerry deputy in the corridors of Leinster House the morning after his headline-grabbing speech.

Funnily enough – and, very Irish – we talked about the weather.

Related: More from O’Sullivan on her activist past and the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior >

Related: Alan Kelly was pretty annoyed only one FG TD turned up to talk about climate change >

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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