Hundreds of students march to highlight climate change ahead of election day

Hundreds of secondary school students have taken the afternoon off school to protest over climate change.

Hundreds of students march to highlight climate change ahead of election day

Hundreds of secondary school students have taken the afternoon off school to protest over climate change.

They gathered in Dublin city centre earlier, calling for more action on the environment.

The protest went ahead despite Gardaí raising concerns over health and safety, and warning teachers of potential prosecution if it got out of hand.

Today's protest is being backed by Greta Thunberg, former president Mary Robinson and civil rights groups.

In her Twitter video, Ms Robinson said: "It's very important that children can protest in their Fridays for Future, particularly because they can't vote in elections - and they want to draw attention to the importance of the climate crisis.

"And you're never too young to protest: the right of freedom of expression is a right at any stage".

The initial plan was for a demonstration starting at College Green and making its way towards Leinster House.

Gardaí feared a possible crush, and warned teachers they could be prosecuted if the behaviour of their students got out of hand.

It has now been stripped back to a protest outside the Dáil.

Fourteen-year-old Robyn, who is taking part, said: "We are here today because I want change and I think the Government needs to take some action."

Grainne, also 14 and from Coolmine, said: "I feel like the Government could be doing so much more t han they are but they haven't realised how much of a problem this can actually be.

"This is going to be a problem, it might not be a problem now but it's all going to come back in 10 or 12 years."

Jamie, aged 11 and from Cabra, said: "It's really important that the Earth stays because there is no planet B and people need to survive to live and carry on their family name."

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