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Extinction Rebellion: Dublin activists block Irish parliament gates

Extinction Rebellion protesters demonstrate outside Leinster House in Dublin Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Extinction Rebellion protesters took to the street outside Leinster House in Dublin

Environmental activists protesting outside the Irish parliament buildings in Dublin have said they were prepared to be arrested for their cause.

They held a sit-down protest outside Leinster House on Tuesday evening.

Gardaí (Irish police) formed a barrier between the Extinction Rebellion activists and the gates of the building to allow politicians to leave.

Activists calling for urgent action on climate change are protesting in cities around the world.

About 200 environmental activists took part in a separate rally at the city's Garden of Remembrance.

Extinction Rebellion called on the Irish government to live up to its "moral and political obligation" to adopt a "budget for climate justice".

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Police removed protesters from outside the gates of the Irish parliament building

Among other things they want to see "adequate funding" for bus and cycle lanes and "greater priority given to these modes of transport".

They also called for meaningful measures to reduce fossil fuel emissions to zero by 2030.

Earlier on Tuesday postcards with legal advice and the name of a legal firm were handed out to the activists on Kildare Street.

What is Extinction Rebellion?

Man holding a Extinction Rebellion placard
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Extinction Rebellion facts

  • 2025year when the group aims for zero carbon emissions

  • 298,000followers on Facebook

  • 1,130people arrested over April's London protests

  • 2018year the group was founded

Source: BBC Research

Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a "climate and ecological emergency" and take immediate action to address climate change.

It describes itself as an international "non-violent civil disobedience activist movement".

Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.

In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.

Read more: What is Extinction Rebellion and what does it want?

The activists said they would "stay here as long as it takes... three or four days".

About 70 tents were pitched in Dublin's Merrion Square, which the group is using as its base for the week.

According to RTÉ activists have travelled from all over the country, including counties Clare, Cork, Galway and Meath.

The group said that while its protests may cause some disruption they would be focused on government and industry, not on the public.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Activists in London set up tents throughout Westminster, including on Horseferry Road

Susan Breen said there had been "sensationalist scaremongering" in the press.

She added that she joined Extinction Rebellion because she was "terrified" about the future for her young daughter.

In London police have warned Extinction Rebellion activists intending to continue protesting in that they "must" go to Trafalgar Square or risk arrest.

Police have made 531 arrests over the two days of protests.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the activists as "uncooperative crusties".

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