Posts Tagged ‘Irish’


Communicating Europe – September 2009

November 2, 2009

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.

DLR speakers

  • EPIC, Dublin: Gay Mitchell MEP (Y) & Patricia McKenna (N). Sylvia Meehan, President ISCP, chaired the meeting

EPIC Meeting

  • Finglas: Proinsias de Rossa MEP & Joe Higgins MEP (N). Hugh Smullen, Chair of Finglas Division ISCP, welcomed the attendees & speakers.
  • Galway: Cllr. Catherine Connolly (N) & Dr. Brendan Flynn, NUIG (Y). Evelyn Moran, ISCP Honorary Secretary & Galway Division 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.


    Westport European and Local Election Meeting – 14 May 2009

    May 29, 2009

    DSCF0759The Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament’s Westport meeting with European and Local Election candidates took place on 14 May 2009 in the Plougastel Court Centre. Candidates from the North-West Euro Constituency and Westport local electoral areas were invited.

    The meeting was attended by one European Candidate: Michael McNamara.

    Michael spoke about issues that are important to him such as the lack of power held by the local authorities, implementation of EU funding at regional level & the importance & availability of European wide broadband.

    The meeting in Westport was attended by 5 local candidates, Myles Staunton (Fine Gael), Christy Hyland (Fine Gael), Peter Flynn (Fine Gael), Keith Martin (Labour) & Ollie Gannon (Fine Gael).

    Among the issues raised with the candidates were:  medical cards, the suspension of the grant system for the personal alarms, the refuse charge waiver scheme, rural transport & library resources.
    The Westport meeting was hosted by the Westport Active Retirement Association and was atteDSCF0753nded by many of the local people from a number of Older Peoples groups frmo Mayo & Sligo. Pauline Berry, vice-President of Westport Active Retirement and Breda O’Malley,  Máiréad Hayes, CEO, and Lauren Quinn Taylor,  Policy officer of the Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament also attended.

    Marian Harkin MEP (Independent) and Fiachra Ó Luain (Independent) along with Mary Thornton (representing Declan Ganley of Libertas) had attended the meeting in Galway the previous day. Apologies were received from Jim Higgins MEP, Susan O’Keefe, Pat the Cope Gallagher TD and Paschal Mooney.


    Galway European and Local Election Meeting – 13 May 2009

    May 28, 2009

    The Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament’s Galway meeting with European and Local Election candidates took place on 13 May 2009 in the Salthill Hotel. Candidates from the North-West Euro Constituency and Galway local electoral areas were invited.
    The meeting was attended by two European Candidates: Marian Harkin MEP (Independent) and Fiachra Ó Luain (Independent). Mary Thornton was also present representing Declan Ganley (Libertas).

    The day began with a presentation on Elder Abuse by Susan Rodden, HSE Senior Case Worker (Elder Abuse) in Galway. The group was drawn to the fact that 85% of people who are abused are living in their own homes, 45% of abusers are family members the majority of whom are sons or daughters and in 62% of cases the Older Person is living with their abuser.

    The presentation was followed by a lively discussion and a question and answer session.

    Marian Harkin MEP spoke about pensions (outlining her work in this area), rural transport & the removal of the Community Support Scheme.

    Fiachra Ó Luain spoke about how both the younger & older generations had been “robbed by the Government”.

    Mary Thornton (on behalf of Declan Ganley) spoke about medical cards, childrens’ allowances & that women should be enabled to be at home with their children.
    The meeting was joined by 5 local candidates Cllr. Niall Ó Brolcháin (Green Party), Tom Hanly (Sinn Féin), AJ Cahill (Independent), Sheila Mangan (Fianna Fáil), and Cllr. Catherine Connolly (Independent).

    The meeting provided an opportunity to engage with the candidates on issues that affect the elderly. Topics covered included: the provision of community facilities & involvement, isolation of older people, water quality, the removal of the medical cards from over-70s, the removal of the Christmas bonus & widows pensions.
    The Galway meeting was chaired by Evelyn Moran, Honorary Secretary of the ISCP. It was attended by a large group of representatives from local Senior Citizen groups, Active Retirement groups and volunteers from the Senior Help Line. Máiréad Hayes, the Parliament’s CEO, and Lauren Quinn Taylor, the ISCP Policy officer also attended.

    Michael McNamara attended the meeting in Westport the next day. Apologies were received from Jim Higgins MEP, Susan O’Keefe, Pat the Cope Gallagher TD and Paschal Mooney.

    Further coverage: