SECONDARY school students from Colaiste Choilm and the Sacred Heart School marched on the headquarters of Offaly County Council on Friday afternoon last to demand action on climate change.
The march to Aras an Chontae was part of the Global Climate Strike which saw hundreds of demonstrations taking place in cities across the globe at the same time on Friday.
A rally outside the Aras was addressed by student representatives and by local Dail Deputies Marcella Corcoran Kennedy and Barry Cowen.
Other politicians who joined the students at the Aras included Cllr Declan Harvey, Cathaoirleach of Tullamore Municipal District, Cllr John Leahy, national leader of Renua Ireland, Cllr Tony McCormack and Green party candidate in the forthcoming local elections, Pippa Hackett.
The students were commended for their iniative by the political speakers with Deputy Cowen pointing out: “Today we see hundreds of children protest, outside the County Council Offices in Tullamore, outside Leinster House, and in their own schools across the country, against the lack of Government action in tackling climate change
“More than most, this region “gets” that decarbonisation was a policy introduced to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Government needs to “get” the fact that the region must be targeted with specific funding and initiatives to ensure that the local communities do not pay the price for decarbonisation.
“It’s particularly necessary in our county and region that even existing carbon tax funding is targeted to Offaly as Bord na Mona decarbonisation must be balanced by new green projects that can offer alternative enterprises, jobs and employment options.
“Next week I will host a public meeting, along with Fianna Fáil Party colleagues, on the effects of Climate Change in Athlone IT. The meeting will be addressed by leading experts on climate change from the energy, transport and agriculture sectors. Anyone wishing to attend or get further information can email my office email@example.com”, concluded Deputy Cowen.
Cllr Declan Harvey said the young demonstrators were the future of Ireland and he stressed the importance of recycling and other environmental initiatives.