30 Nov 2021

Silent 'reflection' on climate change in Offaly town on Saturday

Silent 'reflection' on climate change in Offaly town on Saturday

Environmental campaigner Tom Roche pictured during a previous demonstration he mounted in Tullamore

OFFALY-based environmental campaign organisation Just Forests will this weekend hold a silent, speech-free, 15-minute reflection on the outcome of the COP26 summit.

The event will take place in O’Connor Square, Tullamore, on Saturday, November 20, at 3pm and marks the actual date that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, which incidentally coincides with the founding of Just Forests in September 1989 in Tullamore by local man Tom Roche.

Speaking about Saturday's event, Mr Roche said: “Be creative and bring along your own placard. Graphically (and silently) let's tell our politicians and corporate sector that enough is enough. Let them know how you feel. Let them know the ‘talking’ and ‘greenwashing’ must stop and be replaced with real life-enhancing change, not climate change.”

Just Forests is inviting grandparents, mothers and fathers, guardians, uncles and aunts, teachers, government officials and environmental as well as civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate and business leaders and objective media professionals, as well as young people and children themselves, to come along to silently ‘voice’ their concerns at what Mr Roche describes as the “betrayal” of COP26 in Glasgow.

“Together we can play an important part in making World Children's Day 2021 more relevant for their societies, their communities and most importantly to their own future,” said Mr Roche.

“The 2021 World Children’s Day reflection in Tullamore offers each of us an opportunity to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights. To identify what we want for our children and help us translate that into actions that will build a better world for all children. This 15 minutes of silent reflection in a public place will help connect us to what’s important in our lives.”

“This year, the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a child rights crisis. The costs of the pandemic for children are immediate and, if unaddressed, may last a lifetime. Please ensure that you follow all recommended covid guidelines for outdoor events if you are intending to attend the reflection. It’s time for generations to come together to reimagine the type of world we want to create.

“On 20 November, Just Forests is calling on everyone to reimagine and act immediately for a safer, more secure, abundant and better world for our children. It's their right. We need faster and fairer climate action in order to avert possible future catastrophes our children had no part in creating. What kind of world do you want to pass on to your children and future generations?”

Mr Roche also pointed to the 'Preventing the Next Pandemic' report from UN Environment Programme executive director Inger Andersen, which said: “The rising trend in zoonotic diseases is driven by the degradation of our natural environment - through land degradation, wildlife exploitation, resource extraction, climate change, and other stresses. The science is clear that if we keep exploiting wildlife and destroying our ecosystems, then we can expect to see a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the years ahead.”

If you would like to help with this event please contact Tom Roche at 086 8049389. For further information on Just Forests work please visit

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