Archive for August, 2008


Risk Equalisation judgement

August 29, 2008

Parliament Urges Minister to Act quickly and decisively on the judgement

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament welcomes the statement by the Minister for Health and Children reconfirming that

“The Government’s Objective in health insurance has been that it should be affordable to older and sicker people. Intergenerational solidarity in health insurance has always received widespread public and political support. ”

We urge the Minister, the government and the Health Insurance Authority to set in train a process which will enable speedy action to be taken to support community rating and provide for a system of community rating to protect the old and the vulnerable.

Whilst we note that the Minister does not “envisage any “immediate decision on legislation” we would urge her not to long finger a resolution to this matter. Older People are already experiencing stress and huge anxiety in relation to health matters.


Are older people getting a fair deal?

August 28, 2008

30th January 2008 from 1pm -1.45pm in Buswell’s Hotel

The Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament invites you to join us for a Press Briefing on the issues which are important to Older People.

The time has come to let you know where we stand in relation to


The Fair Deal legislation is due to be put before the Dáil without adequate consultation with Older People.

As the Houses of the Oireachtas resume after the Christmas break it is timely that we take stock and look to the year ahead and what it holds for older people.

This is a time of reflection as Older People look to see how the December Budget impacts on their lives and what is in store for them in 2008.

We are two years in the Social Partnership Agreement Towards 2016 which as part of The Lifecycle Framework articulated in the Vision Statement for Older People that they be able to –

  • “participate to the greatest extent possible in social and civic life”
  • “have access to an income which is sufficient to sustain an acceptable standard of living “
  • Have adequate support to enable them to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible
  • Have access to good quality services in the community including health education transport housing and security
  • Have access to a spectrum of care services stretching from support to for self care through support for family and informal carers to formal care in the home, the community or in residential settings
  • Mindful  ” such care services should ensure the person has opportunities for civic and social engagement at community level”

Please come to our press briefing in Buswell’s Hotel, at 1pm on January 30th to hear older people speak for themselves on these and other issues.

An Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament briefing paper on the fair deal will be circulated at the meeting.

Please contact Mairead Hayes, CEO on (01) 8561243  for press interviews.



August 8, 2008

Campaign by Irish Senior Citizens Parliament for the Introduction of a Voucher System to improve Access for Older People living in Rural Areas to Transport.

One of the phenomena of the last 50 years has been the great improvement in transport both in terms of its availability and the extent to which it is used. The vast majority of our population now make greater use of transport facilities to travel both inside and outside the island by road, rail, sea and air. For a large proportion of the population this has led to increasing mobility and increased access to normal everyday facilities as well as the opportunity to visit friends and families at regular intervals.

A major factor in this access to travel facilities particularly for older people was the introduction in 1967 of the Free Travel Pass for Older People. This innovative measure gave older people the opportunity to independently access travel for social and personal reasons. The ability to travel both in cities and across the country was warmly welcomed by older people and their organisations

At that time the cost of travel, as a proportion of income was much higher than it is today. Indeed the cost of rail travel as a proportion of the average weekly wage was beyond the reach of a lot of Old Age Pensioners. In a more de-regulated environment this has now been reduced especially where bus travel is concerned. Further the move to the larger centres of population was not as marked as it later became. In most rural areas the fabric of the life continued as was with the same families living in communities, as had their forebears.

The good neighbour was the salvation for many older people living in rural isolated areas. They were relied on to give them a lift to Mass and perhaps to the local town for shopping. The increasing change in demographics in rural areas, which saw the move to the country of families who were working in nearby towns, changed the position for a lot of older people. However this dependency on the “Good Neighbour “meant that the Older person was not independent and had no way of travelling to the local town or village to access Free travel independently. Increasing they saw the benefits which people living in towns and villages with the ability to undertake journeys at times that suited their needs were deriving from the Free Travel Scheme.

Since its inception the Parliament has recognised that travel was available to older people however it equally recognised that such access was not equally available to ALL older people. Those living in rural isolated areas continued to lack the facility to get to the nearest point at which they might access the Public Transport system and so avail of their free travel. For this reason the Parliament has continued to lobby for a system where a number of vouchers would be issued to older people to enable them to access taxis and hackneys which would bring them to the nearest point of access to the Free Travel system. For a number of older people this matter is Urgent, as they cannot wait for realisation of some of the initiatives, which are currently under way. It is a fact of life that they just may not be here to avail of the improved services when it is in place.

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Historic event

August 8, 2008

In July this year Peter B Sands, Trustee of the ISCP was appointed Senator for A period of one month. Following which the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament held their monthly Executive Committee meeting in Leinster House.



ISCP Executive Committee and Staff Members pictured outside Leinster House before their monthly meeting 17/07/2007 which was held in Dáil Éireann.


MEETING THE MINISTER Left to Right: Michael O'Hallora CEO. Máire Hoctor T.D., Minister for Older PeopleSenatorPeter B Sands, Sylvia Meehan ISCP













Annual Parliament Meeting 2007

August 8, 2008

The Annual meeting of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament was held on the 13th & 14th April 2007 .  Three hundred delegates representing the Parliaments 90,000 members gathered to review the Annual Report of the years work on behalf of the Parliament and to develop new policies for the future.

The year had been marked by the participation of the Parliament in Social Partnership. For the first time Older Peoples representatives were admitted to membership of the Community and Voluntary Pillar and played an active part in negotiating the new programme ‘Towards 2016’ which contained a section dealing with Older Peoples issues including a commitment in the agreement to publish a ‘Green Paper’ on Pension Policy which is long overdue given the relatively poor position of pensioners in Ireland against their counterparts in other European Union.

On Friday night delegates attended a dinner and a social event with a live band.

Peter Sands

Presidential Address

President Peter Sands covered many topics in his address including the following:

Northern Ireland: He welcomed recent events in the peace process and expressed the wish that the ties between the Parliament and Older People’s groups in Northern Ireland would be strengthened. He placed on record his thanks to the Vice-President Paddy Donegan and the staff of the Parliament for all their work.

Our membership continues to grow and we now have 380 affiliated groups and 100,000 members. Income and health care continue to be core issues dealt with by the Parliament.  From September 07 women who worked in the home will be paid their entitlements directly.

Social Partnership Agreement: He commended two sections in “Towards 2016” to delegates Section 32 on Older People as part of the Lifecycle Framework and Section 8.8 on the Green Paper on National Pensions Policy which will be published soon. The Parliament will be involved in the widespread consultation on the Paper and Michael O’Halloran CEO as a member of the Pensions Board will be a strong voice for our cause.

He welcomed the establishment of the Task Force on Active Citizenship of which our Hon. Secretary, Sylvia Meehan is a member.

Atlantic Philanthropies: An agreement covering a period of four years was signed in March with Atlantic Philanthropies. It covers an agreed work programme and a grant of €811,000. Through their Ageing programmes, Atlantic seeks to transform how ageing and older people are viewed by society and to bring about lasting improvements in the lives of older adults. The agreement provides for additional staff and resources to strengthen the Parliament at National, Local and Divisional level. It is a challenge as well as an opportunity.

In conclusion he said, never before was a “Strong Voice” for Older People more needed.

The Officers and Executive Committee elected to serve for the coming year are as follows:

President:               Sylvia Meehan

Vice-President:      Paddy Donegan

Hon-Secretary:       Breda O’Malley

Treasurer:               Nell Foley

Trustees:                Charlie Hammond, Peter Sands

Executive Committee Members:

Peter Campbell, Jim Cousins, Liam Cradden, Breda Dunlea, Eddie Fitzgerald, Nell FitzPatrick, Anthony Gilligan, Barney Hartnett,Ignatius Martin, Evelyn Moran, Patrick Morgan, Anna O’Farrell, Ena O’Mahoney, Patrick Philpott, Sally Quinn

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