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Fight for climate change at Lahinch

Hundreds of people are expected to gather for a climate justice event in North Clare this Sunday. Part of a worldwide movement, people from around the county will gather in Lahinch to send a message about global warming to world leaders.

“The tide will be out and hundreds of people will come together from all over the county, including children, especially those involved in An Taisce’s Green-Schools programme. We will write #EarthToParis, which is a hashtag people are using all over the world at similar gatherings on the same day, in the sand. I have a drone camera and will take an aerial photograph of the event and everyone gathered around the writing and tag it and Tweet it,” explained Róisín Ní Ghairbhith, event organiser.

“World leaders are meeting on December 7 and 8 in Paris to discuss climate change and we are sending them a message that we want them to come up with good decisions and good solutions. This is our way of communicating with them. The more people that gather, the stronger the message,” she added.

Ms Ní Ghairbhith is the Green Schools Travel Officer with An Taisce and regularly meets children and young people that are enthusiastic about combating climate change.

“The reason I am organising this is because I visit a lot of schools and the children are all the time asking what we can do about climate change. They worry about the polar bears and the melting ice caps but I don’t want the children to be focussing on the negative all the time. I would like them instead to focus on the positive and show them that lots of adults care about the environment and about climate change. I am always asking the children and young people I meet to care more for the environment and this is our chance to show them we care too. This is our home, so it is up to us to protect it. Events like this one show that there is no ‘them’, there is only ‘us’,” she said.

“I visited seven schools in the last two days and the students are amazing. They are not cynical and are really optimistic. They know they can make a difference, so it is just about trying to get the adults on board,” she continued.

Ms Ní Ghairbhith said only two of these events are being held in Ireland – one in Galway and one in Dublin. “My job is to promote sustainable travel and it doesn’t make a lot of sense for people in Clare to travel to Dublin or Galway for this, so we decided to hold one here in the county. I am asking people to walk, cycle, carpool or park and stride to the event to reduce their carbon footprint,” she said.

The climate justice event takes place on Lahinch beach on Sunday at midday, meeting at the entrance to the beach beside the lifeguard hut. At the event Ms Ní Ghairbhith will be giving away native Irish trees.

“We know trees take in carbon dioxide and CO2 is the biggest cause of global warming at the moment, so anyone who would like can take one home and plant it,” she added.

On Sunday night, Ms Ní Ghairbhith will host a screening of a film by Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything, at the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon. This will be first screening of the film in Clare and it begins at 8pm. All are welcome.

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