Climate Change Demo at Customs House December 8th Dublin


On a day when we all desperately needed a change in the weather, people gathered beside the bunker on wood quay which is the Council offices. A man in a Santa clause hat spoke at us like he was hosting a children’s television program and told us we would await the bells to chime at two o’clock from Christchurch before we would move off for the march.

Prior to chat people huddled underneath umbrellas and in groups to keep warm. The rain stopped, some sunshine briefly appeared. I looked around the crowd and started to spot various people who were going to speak. I wished I’d done up that placard which a friend had suggested; MAKE BAD WEATHER HISTORY.

Then, like an eco friendly messiah Minister Eamon Ryan appeared – along with his son in tow. MC Santa introduced a young woman who spoke on behalf of Trocaire. Eamon Ryan went around and worked the crowd. Various journalists dragged the minister off to conduct interviews with him, with us, the wet windswept protestors forming a lovely backdrop. Ivana Bacik, the indepependent (Labour) senator also spoke on this issue. I couldn’t really hear the substance of the speech above the wind and rain.

At two pm we marched though temple bar, up parliament street, and then down dame street. Our ranks swelled and we might well have reached a number over 500 after a certain distance. I saw Trevor Sargent joined the crowd on Dame street and marched on with us towards the customs house. I congratulated him on not letting them dig up Donegal in search of uranium, good to know that there are some things that just go too far, even for the new powerbrokers in government.

When we got to the customs house – we actually got let into the garden around by the front/back of it. That was a first for me and for a few others. These privileges, like getting gardens open up for you must come with being in power.

Eamon Ryan, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, got up to tell us what people had to do, and what had to stop. He made no reference to any of the issues like Rossport or Shell or Tara or Shannon. He dwelled in the land of the vague. Like the permafrost, green policies or principles appear to be fast disappearing. A female member of the crowd intervened whilst Minister Ryan lectured us about what had to be done to avert this “climatic crisis.” “Talk is cheap, you Green Parasite” she said and politely handed the microphone back to the minister who continued emit a lot of hot air about what needed to be done. Actions speak louder than words and the people of Rossport would welcome some by the Green people in power.

Liz McManus got up to speak, but by that stage I was on my bike and pedalling away from this Climate change protest.