Up to 20 TDs unable to leave Leinster House due to climate change protests

Up to 20 TDs unable to leave Leinster House due to climate change protests
Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Latest: Up to 20 TDs and ministers are stuck inside Leinster House this evening because of climate change protests.

Members of Extinction Rebellion are blocking both exit gates, so Oireachtas members are unable to return home.

Most of them working away in their offices but one TD had requested to leave for family reasons and was denied by protesters.

"From what I understand - now obviously we are in our offices - there are protestors at both gates of Leinster House," said Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice.

"We have plenty of work that we can be at in our offices and everyone has the right to protest.

"We can stay here pretty late but the only thing you'd be worrying about with the city being blocked up is people trying to get home from work and pick up children and all that."

Earlier today, there were major protests at London City Airport.

A climate change protester was arrested on board an Aer Lingus flight bound for Dublin.

Extinction Rebellion carry out fourth day of protest in Dublin

Up to 20 TDs unable to leave Leinster House due to climate change protests

Update 1.30pm: Environmental activists have shut down Dublin city centre for a fourth day, for a protest over agriculture and forestry.

This morning, a small number of protesters set up camp outside the front door of Red Flag Consultancy’s offices in Ely Place, gluing themselves to the main entrance and garden fence of the Georgian property.

The group’s statement said they had chosen the offices, as the firm “has been associated with numerous harmful campaigns”, adding that the company has “recently been hired by several agriculture organisation’s (including Bord Bia) to promote Ireland’s meat and dairy industry as sustainable”.

Karl Brophy, CEO of Red Flag, said that the group were misinformed.

“The Extinction Rebellion movement is undoubtedly well-intentioned, but this small group is missing the mark by protesting outside our offices,” he said.

“At Red Flag we’re proud of the work we do for our clients, including the work we do to counter misinformation about the health benefits and sustainability of the Irish meat and dairy industry.  We’re especially proud to represent Irish products and produce all over the world.

“All of our work is based on facts and science, unlike the claims these protesters are making about us, many of which are false.”

The larger Extinction Rebellion group, who have set up camp in Merrion Street South throughout the week, donned costumes made of branches, trees and shrubs, and marched as a makeshift human forest across Stephen’s Green before forming a protest outside the gates of Dáil Éireann.

The group had initially planned to march to the front door of the Department of Agriculture on Kildare Street, however awaiting gardaí had blocked off most of the street with barricades to ensure politicians and staff could leave the Government offices.

The group held posters at the protest and chanted their opposition to the planting of Sitka spruce trees, which is commercially grown for logging, and the group claims is detrimental to natural Irish wildlife.

Extinction Rebellion protesters march to Leinster House (Brian Lawless/PA)
Extinction Rebellion protesters march to Leinster House (Brian Lawless/PA)

Sitkas are a non-native coniferous tree that activists say drive out endangered wildlife such as hen harriers and curlews, birds that they say could be extinct in Ireland in the next 10 years.

The group believe that current Government forestry practises and targets will not deliver on EU biodiversity goals or carbon reduction targets of the Paris agreement.

Oisin McNeil, speaking outside the Dáil said: “Ireland has the second lowest level of forestry in the EU at 11%, mostly Sitka, which creates ecological dead zones, this cannot go on any longer.”

Extinction Rebellion say they are a non-violent, direct action, climate change protest group who are holding a series of disruptive protests throughout the week in Dublin and around the world.

On Wednesday, the group protested through fashion retailer Penney’s on O’Connell Street against the retailer’s sale of mass-produced, low-price clothes and the effect on the climate.

More on this topic

UK police under fire over ban on Extinction Rebellion gatheringsUK police under fire over ban on Extinction Rebellion gatherings

Extinction Rebellion activists defy police order to end protests across LondonExtinction Rebellion activists defy police order to end protests across London

More arrests as Extinction Rebellion targets City of London over fossil fuelsMore arrests as Extinction Rebellion targets City of London over fossil fuels

Rabbi aged 77 arrested at Extinction Rebellion protests in LondonRabbi aged 77 arrested at Extinction Rebellion protests in London


More in this Section

First longer Luas tram up and running on Green LineFirst longer Luas tram up and running on Green Line

Beef talks paused due to protestorsBeef talks paused due to protestors

Compensating victims of historic abuse in the North ‘remains a big priority’Compensating victims of historic abuse in the North ‘remains a big priority’

Don't succumb to the narrative of fear: Priest hits out at growing opposition to asylum seekersDon't succumb to the narrative of fear: Priest hits out at growing opposition to asylum seekers


Lifestyle

My sister Gabriella always says that during sibling whispers all I ever wanted was to be on stage.This Much I Know: Man of many talents Mike Hanrahan

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband is controlling and belittling her.Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband is so controlling – what do I do?’

Peter Dowdall branches out to take a look at the mountain ash or rowan.Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

More From The Irish Examiner