#FirstWeds Autumn Series (PART 3): Post-COP26: Community Activists on Where to Next

Tune in to #FirstWeds ‘Coping with COP: Reflections on the climate crisis, present and future’ Autumn series

The series of three events will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel, so make sure to subscribe and help us bring these conversations to a wider audience. 

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Find out more about the Coping with COP series here.

The UN Climate Change Conference – COP26 took place in Glasgow in November. It came hot on the heels of the most recent and disturbing report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. With COP26 as the backdrop, this autumn our #FirstWeds ‘Coping with COP: Reflections on the climate crisis, present and future’ series has been seeking wisdom and inspiration from youth, elders, and a wider cohort of community activists on the climate crisis, present and future. This is the 3rd and last part of the series.

Shirley Alphonse, Elder with the T’Sou-ke Nation:

“My hope (from COP26) would be that all the leaders, all the influential leaders, would listen. Would listen and take action. That we start going in the right direction.”

November #FirstWeds 

Over the course of the past two months, #FirstWeds has been inspired and humbled by youth leaders and by the wisdom of indigenous eldership. Since that time, the COP26 Summit has been and gone and we are wondering if such voices – also present in the corridors and on the streets of Glasgow – are being listened to. 

Indeed, post-COP26 we remain on a path to unsustainable levels of global warming, with the effects of this warming already being felt by the world’s poorest. Many have already lost their lives while others are witnessing the ebbing away of a future in the present time. 

In the meantime, there appears to be little or no shift in terms of the mainstream policy discourse, which continues to privilege economic growth models and corporate interests and to disavow the concomitant “costs” of this path, including economic austerity, biodiversity loss, deaths and drownings at Europe’s fortressed borders.

To consider all of this a little further, we are going to be joined by three Ireland-based voices for the third and final chapter of our Autumn Series. 


Our three panellists each wear an inspiring number of hats and, through conversation, will help us unpack some of what happened at COP26 and to consider how questions of climate justice are showing up here in Ireland. Crucially they will share inspiration and ideas for how people can get (more) involved in action for climate justice from Ireland.

  • Theresa O’Donohue is a mother of 5 and a climate activist living in Co. Clare. She co-founded Futureproof Clare, Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland as well as various other groups since 2006 and as she moved across Ireland. Her aim has always been to raise a flag so that climate activists can find allies and collaborate, without blame, building a better world. 

    More about Futureproof Clare: FPC was founded in 2017 to focus on the pursuit of sustainable communities throughout the county in the transition process. This has led us on many paths as we strive for system change while fire-fighting threats to the overall goal of transition including Shannon LNG, data centres, etc. We believe that regenerative culture and systems change are where everyone’s focus needs to be – if only we didn’t have to fight threats all the time.
  • V’cenza Cirefice is currently researching resistance to extractivism in the Sperrins range of mountains in Northern Ireland for NUIG and is involved in the climate movement through groups including SlìEile, The Galway Feminist Collective and the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network. V’cenza is interested in feminist approaches to the climate crisis, rural grassroots struggles, post-extractivism and a just transition that doesn’t just move from fossil fuels to renewables (with increased mining and sacrifice zones) without system change.

  • Seán McCabe is the Executive Manager of the TASC Climate Justice Centre. His work at TASC focuses on developing evidence based, people-centred and community-led climate action strategies. Seán also supports the work of the Children’s Environmental Rights Initiative. Prior to joining TASC, Seán worked with former Irish President Mary Robinson in the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. During this time he engaged in the negotiation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Beyond Ireland, he has worked on issues of climate justice in India and Sierra Leone. 

  • MODERATOR: For this December #FirstWeds our panellists will be in conversation with Dr Eilish Dillon, Head of the Department of International Development, Maynooth University.

This is the unmissable 3rd part of our series, particularly in light of everything that happened in Glasgow. We really hope to see you there.

For any questions and to find out more, please contact aga@comhlamh.org.



6 October, 7-8:30 PM: The Future is Now: Global Youth Voices on the Climate Crisis


In October our youth panellists from Ireland and the Global South reflected and shared their perspectives on the present and the future, and their commitment and contribution to new forms of political activism. Our panellists also discussed their views of the COP26.

3 November, 7-8:00 PM: Where Does the Wisdom Lie? Elders on the Climate Crisis


In November, we were in conversation with Indigenous Elder, reflecting on the cascading effects of the climate crises and biodiversity loss. What kind of paradigmatic shift is needed in response, and where does the wisdom for this lie?

1 December, 7-8:30 PM: Post-COP26: Community Activists on Where to Next


By December, COP26 will have concluded. Join our panel of community-based activists to discuss outcomes from COP and to explore how we can continue to work towards a social transformation that is grounded in justice and in responsibility for Earth and for each other.


#FirstWeds events are organised in partnership with the Maynooth University Department of International Development and with the financial support of Concern Worldwide for which we are most grateful.

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