A Co Kerry politician confronted at a polling station by a protester dressed as a stick of celery declared “to hell with the planet” as he looked set for re-election.
Danny Healy Rae said he preferred to focus on the concerns of people of his constituencies rather than environmental issues.
Mr Healy Rae and his brother Michael, both outgoing TDs for Co Kerry, are poised for a return to the Dail after recording strong votes in the constituency.
On Saturday the pair were targeted over their views around the issue of climate change.
A protester brandished a sign outside Kilgarvan Central School in Co Kerry saying: “Climate change is real, it’s an emergency, and we can all fight it by going vegan.”
Speaking to Virgin Media News on Sunday, Mr Healy Rae said: “Work for the people and stay with the people and to hell with the planet and the fellas that say we must save the planet and forget about the people.
“I’m not one of those people. I make no apologies to anyone, anywhere for that.
“And I stay with the people for as long as they want me.”
Michael had previously said that he feels farmers are unfairly blamed for climate change, while his brother Danny stated that he does not “subscribe to the idea that man can influence climate”.
To hell with the planet and the fellas that say we must save the planet and forget about the peopleDanny Healy Rae
Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has called on the politicians to “not only to take note of the environmental crisis but also to take action to combat animal agriculture’s massive contribution to the climate crisis”.
Peta director Elisa Allen urged politicians and the public to go vegan to counteract the effects of the meat industry.
“The meat industry kills animals while destroying our planet,” she said.
“As we face historic droughts, floods, and wildfires around the world, Peta is calling on politicians and the public to stop ignoring animal agriculture’s connection to catastrophic climate change and go vegan before it’s too late.”