Hundreds of secondary school students in Cork walked out of classes to send a clear message to the Government that action is needed on climate change. It was the second large scale climate march to take place in the city this year and coincided with marches in other cities all over the world.
Chants of "change now" and "leave our carbon in the soil" could be heard as the group marched from Lapp's Quay to Grand Parade, with shoppers on Patrick Street stopping to show their support to the students along the way.
The march coincided with the local and European elections. Most in attendance, including all the speakers who addressed the crowd, are too young to vote but their message to politicians was clear: they have had enough.
Darragh Cotter of the Fridays for Future group has been striking outside Cork City Hall every Friday since the start of the year. He said that the march shows that they are not going away until they are heard:
We know full well that what we are doing will make difference and is already making a difference. There was a climate emergency declared.
"The one issue that we have is that nothing is being done. Marches like this are our insurance: it will ensure that something will be done."
Mira Henchi of Cork Educate Together Secondary School said the passion in the crowd gives her hope that change is possible: "We are in a desperate situation but seeing the passion and the anger here gives me hope for the future. The Government declared a climate emergency but it means nothing without action."
Oisin Twomey of Cork Educate Together said politicians need to sit up and listen: "Everyone tells us how great growing up is going to be, how we will get married and have children but at this rate, we won't do that: we are going to die before we can experience it."