The Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament’s Limerick meeting with European and Local Election candidates took place on 19 May 2009 in the Best Western Pery’s Hotel. Candidates from the South Euro Constituency and Limerick local electoral areas were invited.
The meeting was attended by three European Candidates, Kathy Sinnott MEP (Independent), Senator Dan Boyle (Green Party), and Dr. Alexander Stafford (Independent).
The day began with a presentation on Elder Abuse by Julie Linwood, Senior Case Worker (Elder Abuse) in with the HSE in Limerick. The presentation covered all aspects of Elder Abuse using recent research on the topic and explained Elder Abuse and what it means to the average older person. This presentation focused on several headings including;
- What is Elder Abuse?
- Types of Elder Abuse?
- How to recognise if Abuse could be occurring?
- How might you learn about Abuse?
- Where can you advise people to turn to?
- Barriers to helping?
Julie’s presentation was followed by a very interesting Q&A session with many contributions from those present.
Kathy Sinnott MEP spoke about the demographics pointing to the increasing number of older people in Europe, with Ireland as the exception. She also spoke about healthy aging as well as the wisdom & experience of age. She emphasised her work for carers at a European level.
Senator Dan Boyle spoke about how Ireland had changed as a society, the growth of individualism & his support for community & advocacy groups.
Dr. Alexander Stafford spoke about universal health access, hospital waiting lists and the importance of pro bono & community work.
Questions to the candidates focussed on universal health care, the withdrawal of the medical card, proper pension provision and protection for private pensions.
The meeting was later joined by 5 local candidates, Derek Mulcahy (Labour), Cathal McCarthy (Independent), Tom Shortt (Labour), Elena Secas (Labour) and James Nix (Green Party).
The meeting provided an opportunity to engage with the candidates on issues that affect the elderly. Topics covered included: medical cards, a Senior Citizens Forum, poor public transport, intergenerational living, mental health, the role of community centres & groups as well as anti-social behaviour.
The meeting was chaired by Máiréad Hayes, the Parliament’s CEO. It was attended by representatives from local Probus and Active Retirement groups as well as Lauren Quinn Taylor, the ISCP Policy officer.
Apologies were received from Colm Burke MEP, Brian Crowley MEP, Seán Kelly, Ned O’Keeffe TD, Senator Alan Kelly and Cllr. Toiréasa Ferris.