Naas students stage strike action over politicians’ inaction on climate change


Paul O'Meara


Paul O'Meara


Naas students stage strike action over politicians’ inaction on climate change

Students from Gael-Cholaiste and PHC.

Students from the second level schools in Naas — Naas CBS, Piper’s Hill College, St Mary’s College and Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara — embarked on strike action on March 15.

But it had less to do with pay for teachers than with the price we all might pay if climate change isn’t addressed.

Second year students demonstrated outside St Mary’s College, while a group from Naas CBS, marshalled by the CBS’s green school committee, went to the Kildare County Council offices and then to Naas Courthouse to highlight the need for the Irish government and administrations elsewhere to take action to halt climate change.

The CBS students, accompanied by teachers Elaine Cowper and Damien Stevens, chanted “glaciers are sinking, what is Leo thinking?” and they joined students from the other Naas schools as the demonstration moved to Poplar Square. Schools around the country took part in the day of action and a gathering of students marched in Dublin from St Stephen’s Green to Leinster house.

“Climate change is happening and it’s happening quickly. The students know this and the CSPE (Civil Social and Political Education) course brings it to life. They are young but they are learning about what is happening to the environment and they are aware of issues like what happens if countries like Ireland don’t reduce carbon emissions,” said St Mary’s College teacher Margaret Humphreys.

“If parents go on strike adults might take notice that we are damaging our environment. If action is not taken and future generations will suffer, not the adults and politicians of today,” said sixth year Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara student Laoise Ryan.

The initiative to tackle climate change and criticise the inaction of national governments was launched by a 16-year-old Swedish girl last year. Fianna Fail TD James Lawless addressed the students during the protest.