Family-friendly ‘festival of resistance’ from 9th-13th August aims ‘to rebuild our relationship to land and each other’
Press release / Issued by Climate Camp Ireland / Monday 24th July 2023
Hundreds of climate campaigners, community activists and others will gather in north Leitrim in early August for this year’s Climate Camp, a five-day “festival of resistance” that aims to “build a radical climate movement across the island of Ireland” and to oppose the capitalist model of growth and profit that is the main driving force behind the climate crisis.
As well as coming together to share skills and strategies for climate action, organisers say they will take direct action against the extractive industries that threaten to turn north Leitrim into a “sacrifice zone”, including conifer forestry plantations and gold-mining.
The family-friendly gathering, at Pollboy near Manorhamilton from 9th to 13th August, will feature climate-related workshops, talks and walks, direct action training, practical skill-sharing, music, dancing, cultural activities, festival fun and more.
Dr Laura Kehoe, an environmental scientist and member of Slí Eile, the main organising group behind the Climate Camp, said:
“If you look at history, what transforms the world is people coming together to demand change. Last year’s amazing Climate Camp in Kerry was a beautiful example of people coming together to build community, to educate each other and empower each other to inspire change.”
July is already earth’s hottest month since records began. Many parts of the Northern Hemisphere have been gripped by unprecedented heatwaves, with hundreds of devastating wildfires raging across Greece, Spain and Canada. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned this month that climate change is “out of control… If we persist in delaying key measures, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation.”
Séamus Diskin of Slí Eile said:
“The world is careering towards a global climate and biodiversity catastrophe that threatens all our futures, but most governments, including Ireland’s, are not taking this threat seriously. From data centres and new gas burning power stations to intensive agriculture, Irish government policy is driven more by lobbyists for powerful interests than it is by the need to protect people in Ireland and globally by taking meaningful and rapid climate action.”
This year the organisers of Climate Camp were invited to Leitrim by grassroots community campaigns who are resisting industrial forestry plantations and also proposed gold mining in the area.
“These are industries that have used the ‘green economy’ as a cover to justify their harmful activities,” explained Séamus Diskin. “Solutions to the climate crisis must involve and benefit local communities – for example, community-owned wind energy – and must not be environmentally destructive. We need to decarbonise rapidly but not using the same industrial, profit-driven approach that has caused climate breakdown and that sees nature as a resource to be exploited.
“Come and join us at the Climate Camp – be part of the solution while having fun and meeting amazing people. If you would like to be involved in organising the camp please do get in touch. There are tasks to suit every skill-set.”
Jamie Murphy, chairperson of Love Leitrim, one of several community groups involved in Climate Camp, said:
“The issue of extractivism is negatively impacting communities all over Ireland, and Leitrim is no different. We seem to have become a magnet for various fossil fuel and extractive companies over the past number of years, whether that’s fracking, mining, non-native forestry or industrial wind farms who seek to gain a foothold in our area. However, communities have united and resisted these threats, and the Climate Camp is very much a continuation of that resistance.”
Pollboy is one of the 47 Leitrim townlands currently under threat from prospecting mining licences that were issued to Flintridge Resources (Galantas) in May 2022.
More than 500 people took part in last year’s Climate Camp in north Kerry, which supported local resistance to the proposed Shannon LNG fracked gas import terminal. A participant in last year’s camp in Kerry, Aine Fahey, said: “I used to think if I learnt more about the climate crisis it would make me more anxious, but the opposite was true. I have never felt more filled with determined hope, more at home, and more energised than I have in these past five days at climate camp.”
You can find out more about the Climate Camp at https://climatecampireland.ie
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Climate Camp Ireland:
Slí Eile hosts the Climate Camp together with a range of community groups and campaigns. The Camp is an all-Ireland, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, family-friendly gathering, which will feature workshops and debates, direct action training, practical skill-sharing, music, art, dancing and more.
The Camp stands against destruction of community, the exploitation of land, and the politics of hate. We gather together to say No to a ruthless capitalist model of never-ending growth and profit that is the main driving force behind the climate crisis. We stand for communities, not shareholders.
This year we will focus on the two extractive industries which threaten to turn Leitrim into a sacrifice zone – conifer forestry plantations and gold-mining. The camp will take place in Pollboy, about 4km from Manorhamilton just off the N16, the main Sligo-Manorhamilton road. Pollboy is one of the 47 Leitrim townlands currently under threat from prospecting mining licenses issued to Flintridge Resources (Galantas) in May 2022.
The camp in Leitrim will act as a central meeting point of resistance-building on the island of Ireland – connecting communities north and south of the Border. We will support and work closely with local campaigns, in particular Save Leitrim, which campaigns against the expansion of conifer plantations,Treasure Leitrim, which campaigns against gold mining in Leitrim and Love Leitrim who continue to work on the threat of fracking, particularly in Northern Ireland.
Journalists/photographers are welcome to visit the camp, but please note that there are guidelines and some restrictions for media visiting the camp. You can read the media policy for Climate Camp on our Contact page (right-hand column):
Climate Camp Ireland website: