Uachtarán na hÉireann, Mary McAleese thanked the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament for its work at the Annual Parliament Meeting today.
Speaking about the Parliament, President McAleese said “it only exists because you care about the quality of life of our senior citizens and care enough to get involved, get organised and insist on being heard … The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament is a stellar example of older people working for older people and for Irish society, infusing it with their vitality, vision and distilled wisdom.”
Of Sylvia Meehan, President McAleese said that she “is a classic example of the surging energy and potential of Ireland’s seniors and it was great to see her recognised in 2009 when she was presented with the ‘People of the Year Award’.
She said that Ireland’s older People had “faced little else over a lifetime but a struggle against tough and implacable odds. You remember many different Irelands in which lives were constrained and even wasted by poverty, lack of access to education, the drain of emigration, the recurring misery of conflict”.
“We are delighted that the President has taken time from her busy schedule to come to our Annual Parliament and meet representatives of Ireland’s Older People” said the Parliament’s CEO, Máiréad Hayes. “President McAleese’s knows all about the Parliament’s work and Sylvia Meehan’s determination and commitment to Older People and equal rights. The ISCP is honoured to have the President of Ireland with us to thank Sylvia Meehan for her tenure as President of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament.”
ISCP President Sylvia Meehan urged delegates to the Annual Parliament to continue to lift the barriers of ageism and discrimination.
The 14th Annual Parliament of the ISCP continues in the Liberty Hall Theatre & Conference Centre today (Friday 26 March) and tomorrow. The Annual Parliament provides the ISCP’s affiliated member organisations with an opportunity to promote the views of older people, to set policy for the Parliament and to elect officers for the coming year.
Among the concerns of Older People issues being discussed at the Annual Parliament will be pensions, medical cards, prescription charges, water charges and the withdrawal of the additional payment at Christmas.