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  • Northside West

Students strike for climate action

Wednesday, 27th March, 2019 1:00pm
Students strike for climate action

Pupils from GETNS pictured in Albert College Park.

Students strike for climate action

Pupils from GETNS pictured in Albert College Park.

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Orla Dwyer

YOUNG students in Glasnevin skipped school to join in  a global protest against climate change on Friday, March 15. 

Students across Ireland protested for Government action on climate change, with the biggestevent running from St Stephen’s Green to Leinster House with over 10,000 people in tow. 

In Glasnevin, six schools took part in a protest including the Glasnevin Educate Together National School (GETNS), St Michael's House and St Columba's School. The march began at GETNS and continued up Ballymun Road to Albert College Park before returning. 

Principal of GETNS, Roisin Conlon, said she was delighted with the success of the climate strike in Glasnevin. 

“It achieved a mission and we got our message across loud and clear,” she added.

“It was really lovely that it was a community of neighbouring schools.”

The children were inspired by Swedish student Greta Thunberg (16) who protested outside the Swedish Parliment for several weeks last year demanding a reduction in carbon emissions. 

The Glasnevin children chanted as they walked their route with slogans such as ‘if it’s not too far, leave the car’. Conlon estimated there were between 500 and 600 people in attendance. 

GETNS is part of the Green-Schools programme, which impacted the school’s decision to strike and do something on the day. 

“To go into town, logistically, is tricky and to act local and think global was more appropriate in our case and meant more people could get involved,” said Conlon. 

The local protest was attended by Fine Gael Dublin North West TD, Noel Rock, Fianna Fáil Councillor Paul McAuliffe and Social Democrats Dublin North West TD, Roisin Shortall. 

Shortall told Northside People that she believed in the cause and thinks more action should be taken by the Government. 

“Young people are very tuned into climate change and they understand the need to take further action,” Shortall said. 

“After that protest and international protests by students around the world, there is a really serious moral onus on adults and the Government.

“It’s great to see children taking the lead. We can’t afford to not take action at this point.”

A total of 37 rallies were held around the country on March 15 alongside over 2,000 more around the world under the slogan of #FridaysForFuture. Principal Conlin at GETNS said students are very tuned in to climate change and often discuss reducing plastic waste or eating less meat. 

“It is about raising awareness for everyone and thinking before we hop in the car or we buy something plastic that we don’t need or want. Definitely, I would hope it would impact on policy as well.”

The GETNS student council requested to Conlon that the school adapt a palm oil free policy, which is being brought forward to the school board for a decision to be made. 

Children protesting during the march for climate change along Ballymun Road. Photo Darren Kinsella

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