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Dublin: 12°C Sunday 14 August 2022

Danny Healy-Rae invites Leonardo DiCaprio to run for public office in Kerry

He was responding to claims the actor made earlier this week, when he said that those who do not believe in climate change “should not be allowed to hold public office”.

Danny Healy-Rae (left) and Leonardo DiCaprio (right), have crossed paths over climate change.
Danny Healy-Rae (left) and Leonardo DiCaprio (right), have crossed paths over climate change.
Image: PA Images and Rolling Merged with PhotoJoiner

THE INDEPENDENT TD for Kerry Danny Healy-Rae has responded to claims by Leonardo DiCaprio that ‘those who don’t believe in climate change shouldn’t hold public office’ – by welcoming the actor to run for office in Kerry.

The Oscar-winning actor, who has starred in films such as Catch Me if You Can and The Revenant, made the following claims at the White House ahead of a screening of his new climate action documentary, Before the Flood.

DiCaprio said:

The scientific consensus is in, and the argument is now over – if you do not believe in climate change you do not believe in facts, or in science, or empirical truths, and therefore in my humble opinion, should not be allowed to hold public office.

The claims are believed to be a gentle attack on Donald Trump, who has previously said that climate change was invented by the Chinese government.

When DiCaprio’s comments were put to Danny Healy-Rae, he said that DiCaprio was ‘disagreeing with the facts’ that go against climate change, before saying:

“What facts is he talking about?”

When clarified that he is probably speaking of facts featuring in studies that prove climate change is happening, he answered that he doesn’t agree with the scientists who say that climate change is happening.

“That’s not my understanding of what is happening. And the scientists who do say it is happening, are being paid to do so.”

When asked if he thinks those who don’t believe in climate change “shouldn’t hold public office”, he said:

I’ll let the people of Kerry decide that. If he wants to put his name on the ballot paper in Kerry or in any other county in Ireland, he’s welcome to do that and we’ll see how he gets on.

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Before the Flood Screening - Toronto International Film Festival 2016 Source: Sharon Latham

“These are beliefs that I’ve held for a long time: man can’t do anything about the weather, only God above can control that.”

Healy-Rae is known for making strong claims on the subject on climate change. Earlier in the year, he said in a Dáil debate that he doesn’t “agree with all this story about climate change”:

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

The Kerry TD went on to say “I’m entitled to air my views on behalf of the many people who agree with me”.

He also said previously that the biblical story of Noah’s Ark is “a fact”.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a well-known celebrity activist on the subject of climate change, who has spoken on a range of issues on how global warming can be stopped.

Read: “Over here, we will mind you”: Enda Kenny invites Kim Kardashian to Ireland after robbery

Read: Independent TD calls Mary Robinson’s advice to stop eating meat ‘bizarre and unhelpful’

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