Saoirse McHugh: This Climate Change Activist Is One To Watch

The environmental campaigner is already making a mark

 Saoirse was the Green Party candidate star for the Midlands-North West constituency in the 2019 European parliament elections and winner of Irish Tatler's Women of the Year 'One To Watch' award.

She was part of the “Green Wave” of the election which saw unexpected support for the party throughout Ireland.

Rousing debate

The genetics graduate has worked in sustainable agriculture and had no political experience prior to the elections but more than made a mark; she achieved notability in the final days of the campaign in particular for her rousing challenge to Peter Casey on his views on immigration during a television debate.

Millionaires blaming migrants is an old trope and it’s boring,” was one of quite a few memorable lines.

Born in the US, she moved to her father’s native village of Doogah on Achill Island off the coast of Mayo at a young age.“Sometimes, when you think that everything needs to change, you have to be the one to do it,” she said.

“In two years of going to politicians and saying, ‘you should do this, you should do that’, it had never occurred to me to run [myself],” she said, during the campaign.

“I had always seen politicians as separate.” She also previously said that she had “never imagined” getting into politics and that she came to run for the Greens in “quite a roundabout way.”

According to her biography details on her website, the 28-year-old is an environmentalist and a grower with a background in sustainable agriculture and food security. 

I believe in the need for a just transition and a sustainable and resilient agricultural system; I will prioritise climate actions that will benefit rural Ireland. I believe in a future for rural communities where we rely on ourselves for energy and food production and where young people like me can work and build their lives. 

She writes a fortnightly column on TheJournal.ie about what we can do as individuals in the face of climate chaos.

READ: A Glamorous Overview Of Irish Tatler's Women Of The Year Awards

READ MORE: Meet The Irish Tatler Women the Year Award Winners For 2019

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