WATCH: Young people bring climate message to the streets of Cork

WATCH: Young people bring climate message to the streets of Cork

UCC Students Union environment representative Alicia O'Sullivan speaking at the gathering at Grand Parade, Cork City for the resumption/return of the 'Fridays for Future' climate action /climate justice global protests.Pic: Larry Cummins

YOUNG people took to the streets in Cork today as part of global protests calling for radical intervention to address climate change.

The Cork climate strike was among similar demonstrations staged around the world that saw students skip school to showcase the importance of the issue.

The Friday for Futures strikes saw students and schoolchildren call for urgent action to address global warming and climate change with the event slogan “Uproot the system”.

Students at University College Cork (UCC) held their own rally ahead of the strike and heard from a number of speakers including the UCC Students’ Union president Asha Woodhouse, climate activist Alicia O’Sullivan and 16-year-old activist Amy O’Brien.

Speaking to The Echo, Alicia O’Sullivan noted the importance of the strike as the first of its kind since the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said the aim was to raise the issue of climate change and to urge the government to do more both in Ireland and internationally

Alicia O'Sullivan, UCC Students Union environmental officer, (left) and Amy O'Brien, climate justice activist, two of the speakers at a Pre-Global Climate Strike Rally at UCC organised by UCC Students Union. Picture Denis Minihane.
Alicia O'Sullivan, UCC Students Union environmental officer, (left) and Amy O'Brien, climate justice activist, two of the speakers at a Pre-Global Climate Strike Rally at UCC organised by UCC Students Union. Picture Denis Minihane.

As young people, Ms O’Sullivan said they are concerned about their future and can see the issues of climate change for what they are.

“We’re seeing it for what it is and for what we need to do. 

"Maybe sometimes it can be called naïve and we’re asking too much but if anything, I think we’re probably not asking for enough.

"Definitely on the international scale - I think there are governments that are ignoring completely what they need to do.

 UCC Students Union environment representative Alicia O'Sullivan speaking at the gathering at Grand Parade. Pic: Larry Cummins
UCC Students Union environment representative Alicia O'Sullivan speaking at the gathering at Grand Parade. Pic: Larry Cummins

“Young people took a day off school, a day off from their education when they have missed so much already from Covid and, for us as well, people took off college classes - and I imagine for some people, work as well - to be there which I think shows that it is important for us, and we do need to do more about climate change as a whole.” 

Meadhbh Keogh, UCC student, at a Pre-Global Climate Strike Rally at UCC organised by UCC Students Union. Picture Denis Minihane.
Meadhbh Keogh, UCC student, at a Pre-Global Climate Strike Rally at UCC organised by UCC Students Union. Picture Denis Minihane.

Attendees heard heartfelt messages from young people who expressed concerns about their future as a result of climate change.

“There were some very personal and heartfelt messages from the young people about just how angry they are and how upset they are, and I suppose how worried they are as well about the future.” 

Ms O’Sullivan said she believes it is more important now than ever to act on climate change.

“From my perspective as an environmentalist, I’ve learned that Covid-19 and climate change are so intrinsically linked and there are so many things we can learn from Covid-19 that we can translate and use in combating climate change.” 

 Stephen O'Riordan, UCC Students Union supporting second-level students in their protest. Pic: Larry Cummins
Stephen O'Riordan, UCC Students Union supporting second-level students in their protest. Pic: Larry Cummins

Fridays for Future strikes in Cork began in January 2019, as part of the global youth movement sparked by activist Greta Thunberg.

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