Climate change is regarded as an indisputable fact by the vast majority of both Irish and US scientists. But did you know that last year Kerry TD (legislator) Danny Healy Rae made a memorable speech stating that he didn’t believe man was behind changes in global temperatures?
To the consternation of Ireland’s Green Party, sat just a few seats away, the 62 year spoke against the Irish Government’s proposal for a carbon tax on the grounds that, "God above is in charge of the weather."
He told the Irish Parliament that the weather in Ireland had changed dramatically over the centuries and even said that in the “1740’s we lost three million people due to two years of bad weather”, presumably referencing the Great Famine of the 1840’s when a million died and a further million fled.
He also said of the 15th and 16th centuries in Ireland that “we were drowned out of it” and that in the 19th century “there was one particular year the sun didn’t shine at all and there weren’t yet any combustible engines in our country.”
Healy Rae rejected the idea of a carbon tax as pointless and one that “would hurt the young fella going to work in the morning... It’s hurting the tractors out in the farms and the question is where is the money that’s been collected as carbon ta going?”
He slammed the Government, insisting, “This last Government do the things it was supposed to, not to mind rectify the weather, of course one Government minister suggestion that we should have three and a half million put aside to improve weather forecasting - but that won’t change the weather!”
Social media reacted angrily to the Independent TD’s remarks.
Just when I think politics cant get much worse I hear Danny Healy Rae disputing climate change. Eamon Ryan was a good counter to be fair— Peter Hatton (@hatton_peter) May 5, 2016
Ha! Danny Healy Rae Suggests Leaving Child Of Prague Under Bush To Combat Climate Change https://t.co/IhbiCobpJP— Shaunagh Connaire (@shaunagh) May 5, 2016
Danny Healy Rae and people like him are what's wrong with Ireland, living in the past, #climatechange is now!— mushy.exe (@theatticdiary) May 5, 2016
Just getting around to seeing Danny Healy Rae's statements on climate change now. I'd be embarrassed if he was my elected representative.— Mark Watters (@mdwatters) May 5, 2016
Some on Twitter however praised him for his honesty.
Actually at least Danny Healy Rae says he doesn't believe in climate change, most other Irish pols just act like they don't.— Gerard O'Mahony (@gingeravenger6) May 6, 2016
Alot making fun of Danny Healy Rae for his view on Climate Change.
It's his view.— David Mc Weeney (@ABhoysVoice) May 5, 2016
I'd prefer him say that straight, than plámás us with B.S
The Kerryman was elected to the Irish Parliament in the 2016 General Election alongside his brother Michael to sit in the five seat County Kerry constituency. The two are the second generation of one of Ireland’s most famous political dynasties - their father Jackie was elected to represent the area from 1997 to 2011 and some have likened them to the Kennedys.
Commentators thought it a huge risk for Danny to stand alongside his brother - increasing the chance their vote would split and neither would be elected - but ultimately Michael went on to win more votes than any other politician in Ireland, confounding liberal commentators who regularly denounce the pair as Ireland’s answer to Donald Trump - himself a climate change denier.