Thousands of school students have taken part in demonstrations around the country as part of a global day of action on climate change.

The demonstrations are part of a global student 'climate strike' movement led by 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg.

More than 1,000 students gathered in Dublin’s Merrion Square, including 6th Year students who begin their Leaving Cert exams in 12 days time.

They told RTÉ News that action like this is too important to miss.

Rallies are taking place in Cork, Limerick and Galway cities, as well as in towns around the country.

The students say their first demand has been met - the declaration of a climate emergency, but now they want Government to act on that.

Their demands include a halt to the granting of exploration licences for fossil fuel, for all development plans to be reworked to meet climate targets, and for any transition to a green economy to be a just one, fair to all.

A succession of student speakers called on the Government to listen and to meet their demands. 

Addressing the Government, one young speaker said: "we have had enough of you telling us to save our planet. You need to do your job".

Similar events are taking place across Europe.