Tuesday 15 October 2019

'We need to tackle biggest polluters' - Saoirse McHugh warns politicians

Saoirse McHugh at the Castlebar Count Centre. Photo: Michael McLaughlin
Saoirse McHugh at the Castlebar Count Centre. Photo: Michael McLaughlin
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

A new 'green dream' has emerged in Ireland this weekend and its rising star, Saoirse McHugh, has a message for the Government.

The 28-year-old Achill Island native has warned that politicians need to stop shifting the responsibility for the climate crisis on to individuals as a way to avoid tackling big business.

Citing consumer-focused movements such as a reduction in meat and dairy consumption and the drive for paper straws, McHugh said, "they [the Government] are pushing the responsibilities downwards", before adding, "we need to address the entire system".

She explained: "There are 100 companies in the world who are responsible for 70pc of greenhouse gas emissions - so while I think personal action is good, sometimes I think there is too much emphasis on it."

She continued: "I really would like to focus on the fact that it's not down to individual choices. I think that's what damages a lot of environmental movements - that people feel burdened. I am crippled with guilt in every aspect of my life and it's an awful way to live - what we need to do is tackle the biggest polluters."

Ms McHugh, a first-time candidate, was last night in contention to take one of the four Midlands North West seats behind Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness and Sinn Fein's Matt Carthy.

Sunday Independent

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