Northern Ireland news

North's first climate festival brings visitors to Stormont for a day of fun and climate awareness

Jemma McClelland, Rebecca-Jane McMonagle, and Jacinta Hamley, the trio behind Climate Craic. The group's first project, led by Jacinta, was the Climate Craic festival held at Stormont on Sunday.
Paul Ainsworth

Northern Ireland's first-ever festival dedicated to climate awareness has taken place at Stormont.

Visitors descended on the grounds of Parliament Buildings on Sunday to enjoy the Climate Craic festival, organised by Co Down's Jacinta Hamley.

The 24-year-old planned the event following training with Co-operation Ireland and the British Council's Active Citizens programme.

The Climate Craic team also includes Rebecca-Jane McMonagle, who is working on a 'Climate Action on Film' event, and Jemma McClelland whose virtual 'Climate Cabaret' event will take place on September 26.

Visitors to Sunday's festival enjoyed live music, workshops, food and craft stalls, and guest speakers discussing climate issues.

"I feel really strongly that this festival should celebrate the joyous aspects of climate action and environmental engagement - and that it's not all doom or gloom," Jacinta said.

"It's a wonderful thing to be part of - bringing people together who might not usually feel connected enough to engage in something as big as a march of protest. This is more of a fun day out for people to enjoy."

Praising the event was SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, who earlier this year introduced a private members bill calling for Westminster to declare and act upon a climate 'emergency'.

"I'm very grateful for all the people behind Climate Craic. I hope it's a great day and I'm sure lots of people will be there," the Foyle MP said, adding of the climate crisis facing Earth: "The message has to get out there - we have to act and we have to act now."

Tweeting from the event, North Down Green Party councillor Lauren Kendall said: "Brilliant to see so many supporting climate activism and to secure the next generation's future. For people and planet."

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