The Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament’s meeting with European and Local Election candidates took place in Dundalk in the Carroll Mead Hall on 20 May 2009. Candidates from the East Euro Constituency and Dundalk local electoral areas were invited.
The meeting was attended by three European Candidates, Nessa Childers (Labour Party), Raymond O’Malley (Libertas) and Mairead McGuinness MEP (Fine Gael).
Nessa Childers spoke about the introduction of a Europe wide travel-pass for older people, individual care plans for people over 65 and a €1 voucher scheme for all sporting events for people over 65.
Raymond O’Malley spoke about the need for vigilance around cuts to services and entitlements, more fexibility around retirement arrangements and problems around caring & housing for older people.
Mairead McGuinness spoke about the Louth landfill dump, economic recovery for Europe and the usefulness of the Petitions committee of the European Parliament.
The meeting was later joined by five local candidates: Syd Smith (People before Profit), George Enyoazu (Green Party), Joe Woodcock (Labour), Frank O’Brien (Labour) and Paddy Malone (Fine Gael).
The meeting provided an opportunity to engage with the candidates on issues that affect the elderly such as the maintenance of footpaths in the town and the repair of existing potholes. Public transport and the organisation’s call for the re-instating of the Christmas bonus and free GP cards were also key issues that were discussed.
The meeting was chaired by Jim Cousins, chairperson of the ISCP Louth Division. Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the Parliament and Lauren Quinn Taylor, the ISCP Policy officer attended. Also present was Peter B Sands, Honorary Secretary of the Louth Division, and a group of local representatives from groups such as Ardee and Dundalk active retirement and local senior citizens clubs.
Apologies were received from Liam Aylward MEP (FF) and John Paul Phelan TD (FG).