Posts Tagged ‘Dublin’
Older people are suffering the ill effects of the cutbacks and they stand in solidarity with their children & grandchildren who are also suffering.
This is why the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament will proudly march alongside trade unions and other community groups before Budget 2013 on Saturday next to say “No to Austerity”. We are asking all our members around the country to walk alongside us with dignity & respect to show the Coalition government that we have had enough of the recession, enough of the cuts to income and enough of the threats to the travel pass. The last Budget saw a vicious cut to the means tested fuel allowance thus increasing fuel poverty.
So walk alongside us … but wrap up warm with good shoes and scarves and gloves. This time however we want you to wear different shades of grey to symbolise the many hits we’ve taken. But we are not without hope – wear a sprig of green as well to show that we still have hope. And what about some “Greys in Shades” – wear some sunglasses as well.
Lastly what about some placards? We’ll have some but we encourage you to make your own & bring them with you. Your own words are always best but here are some possible slogans you could have on your placards:
- We’ve paid for our Pensions
- For a proper health service
- Keep Older People Warm & Mobile
- Fair Pensions for all
- For dignity & respect
- For a better, fairer old age
- A Fairer Ireland for Older People
- HITS – Health, Income, Travel, Security
- Hit the bankers – Not the pensioners
- Bash Bankers – Not Pensioners
- We all stand together
- Hands off our Pensions
- We’ve paid for our pass
- No more austerity
- Enough is Enough
- No more cuts
- We’re all in it together
- Why not just shoot us?
- Never too old to suffer
- No Country for Old Men … or Old Women
The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament supported the National Demonstration organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on Saturday last. ISCP people came from as near as Finglas and as far away as Donegal on a cold, snowy Saturday to show their solidarity and to make the voice of older people heard. We joined something between 50,000 and 100,000 marchers from Dublin’s Civic Offices to the GPO.
Evie Franks made a video about the Demonstration & included short interviews with the Parliament’s CEO, Máiréad Hayes, and Paul Walsh from the Parliament’s Limerick Division about why this Demonstration was so important.
Addressing the crowd, master of ceremonies Fintan O’Toole said thatv “We are here to say that we are who we are – citizens of a proud and free Republican democracy”. Other speakers at the event included Ictu President Jack O’Connor, Ictu General Secretary David Begg, and Siobhán O’Donoghue of the Community Platform. Marie Doyle of the Retired Workers Committee spoke on behalf of pensioners. She said elderly people had made a huge contribution to the State during their working lives and were now being treated like parasites. “We resent being told that we are a burden for the State”.
Performers Christy Moore, Frances Black and Jinx Lennon also entertained the crowd with relevant and hard hitting songs while actress, Ruth McCabe read, with emotion, from the 1916 Proclamation and the 1919 Democratic Programme the seminal founding documents of the State.
The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament took a proud part in Dublin’s Day of Protest (November 6) as part of the “Get Up, Stand Up” campaign.
Many of our volunteers came out to lend their support to the campaign which aims to protect jobs and pensions as well as vulnerable people and vital services.
Here are a few pictures from the March in Dublin.
If you have any comments on the campaign or pictures from the other marches around the country, leave a comment in the box below or e-mail us and we will try to add them to our news here.
In September we held a series of four meetings on Communicating Europe & the Lisbon Treaty. This was in response to requests from members.
The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament facilitated these meeting with Members of the European Parliament & other public representatives to inform Older People about the European Union & the Lisbon Treaty and their affect on older people.
Four meetings were held with a variety of speakers. The format was each meeting started with a “Just the Facts” presentation setting the context and history of the European Union facilitated by Andrea Pappin of the European Movement Ireland or Peadar O’Broin of the Institute of International & European Affairs. We sought a representative from the European Commission, but they were unable to facilitate our request.
This was followed by (an equal number of) speakers in favour (Y) of the Treaty & against (N) the Treaty. We had lively discussions as quite a number of older people came along both to listen and contribute.
The main speakers were:
- Dún Laoghaire / Rathdown: Mary Hanafin TD (Y), Proinsias de Rossa MEP (Y), Eoin O’Broin (N) (in place of Mary Lou McDonald) and Tony Allwright, journalist (N). Seán Barrett TD attended and made a contribution. Frank Farrelly, ISCP Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown chaired the meeting.
- EPIC, Dublin: Gay Mitchell MEP (Y) & Patricia McKenna (N). Sylvia Meehan, President ISCP, chaired the meeting
These meetings were organised in close cooperation with the local Divisions of the Parliament. Máiréad Hayes CEO and ISCP staff attended all meetings.
Issues raised at the meetings included : healthcare, pensions, new taxes, why a second referendum, security & defence, the Citizens Initiative, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Irish guarantees, Ireland’s Commissioner, wage rates, climate change and & voting rights.
The second of the Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament’s Dublin meetings with European Election candidates took place on the afternoon of 21 May 2009 in EPIC in the European Parliament office in Molesworth Street. The afternoon meeting was attended by four European Candidates: Deirdre de Búrca (Green Party), Proinsias de Rossa (Labour), Caroline Simons (Libertas), and Eibhlín Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin (Fianna Fáil).
Deirdre de Búrca spoke about intergenerational solidarity, the Lisbon Strategy, the needs of older people, neutrality & retaining a commissioner. She stressed the importance of the Charter of Fundamental Rights stating that it a very important guiding document & that Article 21 bans discrimination, including discrimination on the grounds of age.
Prionsias de Rossa MEP spoke about the social, economic and environmental crises all coming together and the need to deal with them all together. Asking what Europe can do to help, he said that the EU had put together a “Recovery Programme” worth €30 billion using the European Investment Bank. Matching funds have to be found on the Irish side – the Government has failed to ensure that this happens. He supports the Lisbon Treaty, stating that it provides for greater democracy, and legally binds the charter for human rights. “There is nothing un-democratic about voting again: we re-elect our public representatives.”
Caroline Simons spoke about some of the issues affecting older people such as the reduction in pensions & savings in the form of shares, the loss of Medical Cards and the Hanley report closing local hospitals. She opposed the practice of moving the European Parliament from Brussels to Strasbourg regularly. She was happy with the result of the Lisbon Referendum & that there should not be a second vote – “No means No”. She stressed the value of volunteerism & carers. She said that she thought “Prionsias was in Europe too long”.
Eibhlín Byrne started by saying she did not think “Prionsias was in Europe too long”. She had been chair of the Council for Ageing and Older People, which has produced some very good research. She spoke about issues affecting older people, saying that in her time on Dublin City Council, she has tried to ensure these issues are heard. She initiated a review of older people living in bed sits in Dublin and has tried to improve the heating of people’s homes. She believes we do need to re-visit the Lisbon Treaty decision.
The meeting provided an opportunity to engage with the candidates on issues that affect the elderly. Topics covered included:
- Should the Lisbon Treaty referendum be re-run?
- The use of social exclusion as a weapon against older people. It is on the increase with information technology excluding us, for example many people will now be excluded from traveling due to online check-in systems.
- The responsibility of the European Parliament for this recession: why did they not monitor what was going on? What was the role of the Court of Auditors in all this?
- More communication is required between Europe and Ireland e.g. a newsletter left in our libraries to let us know what is happening. The challenge is to tell people about European directives etc. in an interesting manner.
- Was the comment about “Prionsias being in Europe too long” ageist?
- Lack of social housing in some city centre areas.
- The importance of Pensions older people – €300 a week now seems to be a long way away.
- Loneliness is a problem for pensioners: this can be alleviated with a decent income as they could go to the pub or to the cinema and socialize.
The meetings were chaired by Sylvia Meehan President of the ISCP. Also in attendance were Máiréad Hayes, CEO, and Lauren Quinn Taylor, Policy Officer of the ISCP, along with representatives of the Parliament’s member organisations.
Another four Euro candidates had attended the ISCP morning meeting. Apologies were received from Eoin Ryan MEP. The meeting was preceded by a small silent protest at the gates of Dáil Éireann as part of its ongoing campaign to reverse the Christmas cutback to pensions
The day closed with a vote of thanks to all the candidates from the President of the ISCP Sylvia Meehan. She said that the ISCP is a non-party political organisation and hoped everyone would use their vote as they saw fit.