Meet Flossie the beach cleaner - dubbed Ireland's Greta

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By Meabh Mc Mahon
Meet Flossie the beach cleaner - dubbed Ireland's Greta

Already a household name in her native Ireland with her very own documentary, Flossie Donnelly is a 12-year-old pupil and a climate activist. Curious to meet her, we call by her home in the South of Dublin beside the sea.

"Cleaning the beaches it's not what children should be having to do all the time. I mean, don't get me wrong, I actually do enjoy it. But no, it's not something I should be doing. It's something that shouldn't have started in the first place," says Flossie.

Apart from collecting plastic waste, Flossie takes part in the weekly Fridays for Futures marches. Her inspiration– the Swedish teenager Greta Thunburg.

I describe Greta as amazing activist, the girl who will solve climate change, and not give up spirit. She is incredible.

But at only 12, and active in public life since 10, does Flossie ever feel vulnerable seeing her image all over the internet?

"I've never been given a real hard time on social media by anyone at all. I had a couple of comments which actually make me laugh more than anything. And but that was only when I was like sending in text to Greta on Instagram. So that really shows when you're so high up, people just want to watch you fall."

In the local and national media, Flossie is dubbed the Irish Greta. Numerous articles have been written about her and her endeavors. Beyond the hype, Flossie has a strong message for politicians.

"I expect them (politicians) to do something about it and find and solve problems with fellow countries, ban fossil fuels, we need to stop our greenhouse stop making and processing as much meat as they do."

Her family have started to eat less meat and fly less. They even stopped lighting open fires at home. But behind the lights, cameras and activism, Flossie is still just a kid with big dreams for her future.

"When I finish school, I want to be a marine biologist by day and then have a band or be a rock star by night."

And in the meantime, she will continue to put pressure on politicians and striking.

"It is going to be hard to solve it but we put man on the moon, we will be able to solve this just as easily," she says prophetically.

COP25 Climate summit runs Dec 2-13 2019.