The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea officially launched the Cork Age Friendly County Strategy on 11th April in County Hall. The Mayor was joined by Tim Lucey, Chief Executive Cork County Council together with Michael O’Sullivan, Chair of the Cork County Older Peoples Council, Shane Winters, Age Friendly Ireland, Alex Feegan, Director of ‘Older than Ireland’, a number of invited older members of the Cork community and students from Colaiste Choilm in Ballincollig.
The Cork Age Friendly County Strategy is a five year framework plan which sets out to make Cork a great place in which to live and grow old. The strategy is intended to provide a structure for interagency cooperation, essential to improving the quality of life for older people in Cork County together with the support of older people through the Cork County Older Peoples Council, statutory, community, voluntary and private sectors.
The strategy was produced by the Cork Age Friendly County Alliance, which is chaired by the Divisional Manager of Cork County Council, James Fogarty and is a strategic partnership including members from the executive committee of the Older Persons Council together with high level representatives from key stakeholders in the public, private, health and academic sectors in Cork County. The County Alliance is responsible for the development and implementation of the Age Friendly County Strategy and supports the work of the Older People’s Council.
At the launch of the Cork Age Friendly County Strategy at County Hall were, front (left to right): Aileen Hurley, Cork Age Friendly County Co-Ordinator, James Fogarty, Divisional Manager, Cork County Council and Liz Maddox, Vice Chairman, Cork Older Peoples Council. Back (left to right): Shane Winters, Regional Co-Ordinator, Age Friendly Ireland, Cllr. John Paul O’Shea, Mayor of the County of Cork, Tim Lucey, Chief Executive Cork County Council and Michael O’Sullivan, Chairperson, Cork Older Peoples Council. Picture: Martin Walsh.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea said ‘Ageing will affect us all, however while we as a population are aging, the majority of people over 65 are very active. With the increases in life expectancy we as a society must adapt and provide older members of our community with the physical, economic and social opportunities needed to ensure they enjoy the very best quality of life. Together, we can work together to make Cork a great place in which to live and prepare properly for older age. We can address not just the challenges but also create the opportunities to live an active and healthy life into old age. We must also acknowledge and value the vast contribution that older people make to our society. The Cork Age Friendly County Strategy sets out a number of goals that I believe will facilitate greater services and inclusivity for older people.’
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added “The Cork Age Friendly County Strategy represents a significant step forward in how we as a County plan for older people. A primary objective of an age friendly county is a place where older people can stay living in their own homes and communities, lead healthy and active lives, and are valued contributors to the lives of people in their communities. This strategy is the culmination of a detailed consultation process that has brought together the older residents of County Cork and the key service providers from the statutory, voluntary, community and private sectors to identify how we can make Cork County an excellent place in which to live, work, enjoy life and grow older.”
Michael O’Sullivan, Cork County Older Peoples Council highlighted the themes covered within the Age Friendly County Strategy and the steps taken both to address and fulfill the requirements of each.
Old and Young watched a screening by Cinemobile of ‘Older than Ireland’ during the week of the Launch
To celebrate the launch of the strategy, the documentary film ‘Older than Ireland’ was screened immediately after the launch, in the Cinemobile, which was parked outside the front of County Hall. Council offices in Cork, Skibbereen, Youghal and Mitchelstown hosted the Cinemobile tour while Director of the film, Alex Fegan provided an introduction to the film and hosted intergenerational discussions.