Posts Tagged ‘Sylvia Meehan’


Sylvia Meehan receives Lord Mayor’s Award

June 9, 2010

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Emer Costello, hosted the 2010 Lord Mayor’s Awards in the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dawson Street, on Wednesday 19th May.

Since its inauguration in 1989 these awards honour individuals and groups who have made a special contribution to Dublin and its citizens. The awards are an annual event and are Dublin City’s way of saying ‘thank you’ to people who make a difference.

Sylvia Meehan, Lord Mayor Emer Costello, Joe Costello TD

This years recipients were:

  • Jimmy Magee
  • Sylvia Meehan
  • Paddy Doyle
  • Janette Byrne
  • Brother Kevin Crowley on behalf of the Capuchin Day Centre
  • Paul Dolan on behalf of the East Wall Water Sports Group

Sylvia Meehan & Máiréad Hayes

Sylvia Meehan, former President of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, received an award for her campaigning work for women’s rights and her lifetime work as an advocate for older people and her work with the Senior Citizens Parliament. The award recognized Sylvia’s lifelong pursuit of equality for women and for empowering older people.


New Executive elected at APM 2010

May 4, 2010

The following Officers and Executive Committee were elected at the Annual Parliament Meeting to serve for the coming year.

President: Peter Campbell

Vice-President: Ena O’Mahoney

Hon. Secretary: Evelyn Moran

Treasurer: Nell Foley

Trustees: John Tierney, John J. McLoughlin

Executive Committee Members:

Jim Cousins, Anthony Gilligan, Henry Harding, Barney Hartnett, Joe Jennings, Ignatius Martin, Patrick Morgan, John F. Murray, Anna O’Farrell, Breda O’Malley, Patrick Philpott, Séamus Rodgers, Patrick A. Stanley, Gerry Whyte, Jerry Withers

The 14th Annual Parliament Meeting took place in the Liberty Hall Theatre & Conference Centre on 26 and 27 March. The APM was attended by over 240 delegates and observers from all parts of the country. On Friday night delegates attended a dinner and social event.

Peter Campbell & Sylvia Meehan

A presentation was made to the outgoing President, Sylvia Meehan (pictured left with incoming President Peter Campbell). She received a standing ovation for her service and a slide show of some of her highlights in the Parliament was shown.

The APM was addressed by President Mary McAleese on Friday afternoon, when she thanked the Parliament for its work. 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.” (Click here for full speech.)

On Saturday the APM heard a “call to arms” from Parliament CEO, Máiréad Hayes and out-going President, Sylvia Meehan. They stressed the need for all member organisations to fight together in the campaigns to achieve the objectives agreed at the APM. They said the ISCP was up for the fight & that victory can be achieved by standing together and using the passion and skill abundant in Older People.


Remarks by President McAleese at APM2010

April 22, 2010

Remarks by President McAleese at the Annual Parliament Meeting of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, 26th March 2010

Dia dhíbh go léir inniu. Tá an-áthas orm bheith anseo libh ar an ócáid speisialta seo. Míle bhuíochas dibh as an gcuireadh agus an fáilte a thug sibh dom.

Thanks to each of you for the warm welcome to the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament and to President Sylvia Meehan for inviting me.

This Parliament is one of a number of Senior Citizens Parliaments across the EU, providing access to political decision-making at the highest level and enhancing the coordinated and collective voice of older people, in particular those at risk of social exclusion. It only exists because you care about the quality of life of our senior citizens and care enough to get involved, get organized and insist on being heard. Thanks to your individual sense of responsibility and collective efforts, this Parliament has become a recognized and necessary centre of gravity right at the forefront of representing the distinctive needs and perspectives of older people at local, national and international levels. I thank you for giving older people such a structured and effective opportunity to engage actively on the many issues that affect your day-to-day lives.

They say that with age comes wisdom. A lot of other things come along too, things that can change a person’s context and priorities considerably. Among the images I have from my teenage days is the memory of the rehabilitation of a small local park into which benches were specially put for the first time for seniors. It was a kindly well-intentioned thought but it carried a subliminal message that those of advancing years were expected to be sedentary and to be spectators. A more recent image points up the changed expectations and ambitions of Ireland’s seniors – that is the opening of the first Tone Zone, a public outdoor gym for seniors in Dunshaughlin, thanks to Meath County Council’s Tom Dowling and the redoubtable Mary Nally. That good idea has caught on all over Ireland so strongly that the equipment once manufactured in China is now manufactured here. The “grey pound/euro” and “grey ambition” are showcasing their collective power and their intention to use their lives to the full in new and imaginative ways that enhance its quality and its opportunities.

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President Mary McAleese thanks the Senior Citizens Parliament

March 27, 2010

Uachtarán na hÉireann, Mary McAleese thanked the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament for its work at the Annual Parliament Meeting today.

President Mary McAleeseSpeaking 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.


Annual Parliament Meeting – 26-27 March 2010

March 23, 2010

Do you want to hear what Older People think about Ireland 2010?

Much, Oh So Much, has changed since our last Annual Parliament Meeting.

Come along to the Liberty Hall Theatre and Conference Centre on Friday 26 & Saturday 27 March to hear what our senior citizens have to say about these changes and how they affect their daily lives.

Breda O'Malley at the APMCome along and meet the delegates representing our affiliated organisations and hear what they have to say on such issues about pensions, medical cards, water charges and the withdrawal of the additional payment at Christmas to name a few.

The meeting starts at 1300hrs on Friday and at 1030hrs on Saturday. A copy of the Final Agenda and Standing Order is below.

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Sylvia Meehan – People of the year

September 15, 2009

The Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament is thrilled and delighted that its President, Sylvia Meehan, has been presented with a prestigious “People of the Year” award. Sylvia was presented with the award by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland for giving a voice to those who might otherwise be forgotten and for her skill and tenacity in asserting the rights of older people.

People of the Year Awards 2009

“The Parliament’s President is a vociferous campaigner for older people and has been a champion of equal rights in Ireland for decades”, said Máiréad Hayes, CEO of the Parliament, the country’s largest representative organisation of older people. “Sylvia has never stopped campaigning and came to the fore yet again last year when she led our campaign against the abolition of the universal entitlement to the medical card for over 70s”, she concluded.

“Older people have become more confident and I am thrilled that this confidence is expressing itself” said Sylvia at the time of the protest, which culminated with 20,000 older people gathering at Leinster House.

Sylvia has contributed to the National Oversight Committee and served on the board of the Council for Aging & Older People and has served as the Irish representative on the executive of AGE – the European Older Peoples Platform as well as the Government’s Task Force on Active Citizenship.

Sylvia will chair the ISCP’s meeting on “Communicating Europe” on Friday 18 September in EU House on Dawson Street in Dublin.


Dublin European Election Meeting – 21 May 2009 afternoon

June 3, 2009

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).

Dublin Euros

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.

DdeB PdeRPrionsias 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-eleSylvia Carolinect 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 theEibhlin Prionsias Sylviase 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.

Dublin Euros

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.