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Saturday 17 August 2019

Environment campaigners glue themselves to government building in climate change protest

Extinction Rebellion Protestors glue themselves to the entrance. Cormac Nugent. Monday 08 July 2019. Photo: Douglas O’Connor. Dept. of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Adelaide Rd
Extinction Rebellion Protestors glue themselves to the entrance. Cormac Nugent. Monday 08 July 2019. Photo: Douglas O’Connor. Dept. of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Adelaide Rd

Áine Kenny

A GROUP of environmental campaigners glued themselves to each other and to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment this evening.

The Extinction Rebellion protesters said they are campaigning against the government's alleged failure to tackle climate change.

Monday 08 July 2019. Photo: Douglas O’Connor. Dept. of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Adelaide Rd. Extinction Rebellion Protestors glue themselves to the entrance.
Monday 08 July 2019. Photo: Douglas O’Connor. Dept. of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Adelaide Rd. Extinction Rebellion Protestors glue themselves to the entrance.

A group of men and women gathered outside Climate Minister Richard Bruton's office for several hours. It is understood that the Minister was not inside the building.

Solidarity People Before Profit TD for Dublin Bríd Smith also attended the protest.

Cormac Nugent, from Newbridge, had been glued to the building since half two. "I've been here for three hours now," he said. The group are using a superglue to glue themselves to the building and each other.

"The government has undemocratically quashed a Climate Emergency Measures Bill. It's the People Before Profit bill that Bríd Smith brought forward.

Monday 08 July 2019. Photo: Douglas O’Connor. Dept. of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Adelaide Rd. Extinction Rebellion Protestors glue themselves to the entrance.
Monday 08 July 2019. Photo: Douglas O’Connor. Dept. of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Adelaide Rd. Extinction Rebellion Protestors glue themselves to the entrance.

"It would block any future fossil fuel extraction from Irish waters which is essential if we are to curb our emissions to create a safe future for us," Mr Nugent said.

"So at the minute we have to keep 80 pc of fossil fuels that we know of in the ground, or else we will pass the two degrees of warming that we have already agreed to.

"If we surpass that we are looking at complete climate catastrophe. You're looking at the death of millions of people worldwide, and possibly the collapse of human civilisation," Cormac said.

He also explained why he was taking direct action such as this protest. "Writing to your local TD is great but it doesn't really achieve anything. Even rallies to the Dáil, politicians go into work the next day and pretend it didn't happen.

Monday 08 July 2019. Photo: Douglas O’Connor. Dept. of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Adelaide Rd. Extinction Rebellion Protestors glue themselves to the entrance. Oscar Mooney and Susan Breen.
Monday 08 July 2019. Photo: Douglas O’Connor. Dept. of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, Adelaide Rd. Extinction Rebellion Protestors glue themselves to the entrance. Oscar Mooney and Susan Breen.

"You need to do things for sustained periods of time to show that you actually mean business. We need to disrupt business as usual... we need to make the government sit up and listen to what we are saying," Cormac said.

Susan Breen, from Co Wexford, says she's protesting the government's alleged inaction on climate change and biodiversity loss issues.

"It is just the ultimate hypocrisy that they declared a climate emergency and paid lip service. Within weeks they handed out more drilling licenses, scuppered the Climate Emergency Measures Bill, they also brought out their plan which doesn't even touch on what needs to be done."

"It would be laughable if it wasn't so terrifying," Sarah added.

Oscar Mooney, from Sandymount in Dublin, says he's protesting because he thinks climate change is not being handled effectively.

"I think it's horrendous that the Climate Emergency Measures bill didn't pass. It should have passed. I think the government need to own up to that as well. They've a responsibility to the people."

Joseph Campbell, who lives in Dublin but is originally from Belfast, says he's there to support the biodiversity system we all need for our planet.

"I'm here to support Bríd Smith's bill, which has been blocked by our government. We need to put full support to this bill and shame our government for blocking this legislation."

Bríd Smith said she came down to support the protesters and to thank them for supporting her bill.

"I heard about this protest on breaking news on RTE and I thought I had to go down and thank them. It's one thing taking the bill through the Oireachtas, and having the rows we have in there... disgracefully they have undemocratically blocked the bill. I'm also considering taking a judicial review about that," she told Independent.ie.

The Dublin TD said the protest needs to grow and continue. "That's when the government are forced to listen to the power of the people. I'm really delighted about this action today."

"This kind of direct action protest gets you into the heart of society."

When contacted by Independent.ie, the Department declined to comment on the protest.

It's understood the campaigners left late this evening.

Extinction Rebellion are protesting outside the Dáil tomorrow at half five. 

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