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30/01/19 Older people’s voices make Donegal a great place live and grow old in

Older Persons Council group

The newly Elected Older Persons Council Executive in Donegal. 


The voices of older people were heard loud and clear at the AGM of the Older Persons Council on Wednesday last (23 January) in the Mount Errigal Hotel which saw a huge turnout with groups and individuals from all over Donegal attending despite the inclement weather warnings.


Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill opened the AGM and commended the positive work being done by the Older Persons Council in Donegal and encouraged agencies across Donegal to continue to work together and with the Older Persons Council to make Donegal a great place to grow old in.


The AGM also heard from Seamus Neely Chief Executive of Donegal County Council and Chair of the Age Friendly Alliance.  Mr Neely spoke about the Donegal Age friendly Programme and the three year Age Friendly Strategy which is currently being reviewed saying “the journey that we have all embarked upon through the Donegal Age Friendly Programme journey has been an enlightening one and one that has been extremely beneficial to all involved.  By working together we have been able to implement real meaningful change in an imaginative and cost effective way. 


Grainne HynesMary McGowan

Grainne Hines and Mary McGowan Joint Chair Persons of the Older Persons Council in Donegal.


“For example the Walkability Audit in Letterkenny University Hospital has resulted in the erection of new signage and the installation of the first Age Friendly Car Parking space.  Letterkenny being nominated as the first age friendly town in Donegal with the roll out of business recognition training to all businesses and Age Friendly training delivered to frontline staff in Donegal County Council as well as the launch of an Older Persons Information Guide.  The delivery of the Local Link bus service by SITT has been a lifeline for many older people in Donegal and the Older Persons Council has been to the fore in sharing the views and perspectives of their members resulting in additional bus routes and services to meet the needs of older people especially those living in rural areas.


“This is real and meaningful change brought about by the voices of older people.  I wish to commend the work done by the Older Persons Council and especially the joint chairs Grainne Hines and Mary McGowan and to thank them sincerely as their work which will benefit all of us as we grow older in Donegal.  I would also like to acknowledge the work being done by our own staff in Donegal County Council especially Charles Sweeney and Mairead Cranley in the Social Inclusion Unit.” 


Reports were also presented by joint chairs Grainne Hines and Mary McGowan describing some of the projects carried out by the Older Persons Council, including intergenerational projects, engagement with the health services for older people and installation of gym equipment in Letterkenny Town Park. In her address Ms Hines encouraged older people to join the Older Persons Council and to have their say on issues affecting their lives.  The Older Persons Council represents older people’s groups, advocacy groups, younger older people, frail older people, individuals, people that represents the voice for older people in residential homes and older people’s services in Donegal.


Special guest Fergus Cleary was also on hand to entertain the audience sharing stories and memories of his own journey through life and what it’s like growing older in Donegal.


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