MEMBERS of Extinction Rebellion Clare who disrupted the first day of the Irish Open golf tournament in Lahinch today (Thursday, July 4), say they wanted to appeal to its global TV audience to demand urgent action by the world’s governments to prevent a climate catastrophe.
At 1:20 pm, just as Shane Lowry was approaching the 18th green, the Clare-based climate activists unfurled a huge banner that read, “Game Over: Climate Action Now!”
Aisling Wheeler of Extinction Rebellion Clare said, “We disrupted the golf event for a few moments to draw attention to the unimaginable disruption to our world that is threatened due to climate breakdown. If governments do not take radical action very quickly, the result will be catastrophic extreme weather events, drought and food shortages, from which Ireland will not be spared.
“More than half a billion TV viewers will be watching Lahinch this weekend but what nobody is talking about is that Lahinch will be a series of islands within a few decades if business as usual continues.
“This action is not anti-golf. We expect real golf lovers to understand. Some of the best golf courses are by the coast, so golf is the sport most threatened by climate breakdown. And golfers love the outdoors.”
“We know this is a great sporting event, and it brings benefits to Co Clare, but promoting business-as-usual events while neglecting the climate emergency is not acceptable. We’re taking it into our own hands to make sure climate breakdown is on the agenda.”
Anne Marie Harrington of Extinction Rebellion Clare criticised the sponsorship of the competition. “The elephant in the room is the sponsorship of the Irish Open by Dubai Duty Free, a sponsorship that seeks to persuade people to fly more and to fly long-haul. The airline industry is growing and is driving greenhouse gas emissions that are destroying our futures. Some 80% of world’s population never fly, but it is they who are already suffering the effects of climate chaos.
“People would be appalled if the Irish Open were sponsored by a cigarette company, and yet excessive air travel is a big contributor to climate breakdown, which is an existential threat far more severe than the smoking epidemic.”
Meanwhile another Extinction Rebellion action will take place on Lahinch Beach on the final day of the Irish Open, this Sunday, July 7th. Members of the public are invited to join a colourful, family-friendly protest on the beach from 1pm to 4pm.
People are being asked to bring a picnic, musical instrument and a towel or blanket, so that participants can lie on the sand to create a huge Extinction Rebellion symbol.