Programme Manager: Michael Delahunty

Chair of Alliance: Collette Byrne

Who’s involved?

Who’s involved in the Kilkenny Age Friendly County Programme?

The key supporting structures in County Kilkenny are set out as follows:


Kilkenny Age Friendly Alliance
The Kilkenny Age Friendly Alliance is a multiagency voluntary partnership that works closely
with older people in Kilkenny to ensure that policies and plans reflect their needs. Meeting
regularly throughout the year the Alliance holds the responsibility for the development and
implementation of Kilkenny’s Age Friendly Strategy and manages its progress annually through the publication of their annual report,the preparation and implementation of annual work plans, the sharing of best practice and the exchange of information.

Members of the Kilkenny Age Friendly Alliance as at 1 December 2017

Colette Byrne, Chief Executive, Kilkenny County Council
John Coonan, Chairperson, Kilkenny Seniors Forum
Murty Brennan, PRO, Kilkenny Seniors Forum
Dominic Hayes, Chief Superintendent
Anthony Farrell, Inspector
John Hurley, CEO, Kilkenny Chamber
Moira Duggan, Kilkenny Leader Partnership
Stephanie Lynch, Health Service Executive
Teresa Hennessy HSE Health Promotion
Deirdre Dunne, St.Lukes Hospital, Kilkenny
Nicola Keeshan, Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership.
Katherine Peacock, PPN Development Officer
Siobhan O’ Brien, Kilkenny Carlow ETB
Seamus Nugent, Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership
Catriona Bambrick, Kilkenny County Council
Josephine Coyne, Kilkenny County Council
Supported by
Catherine Cooney, Kilkenny County Council
Michael Delahunty Kilkenny County Council

Kilkenny Age Friendly Seniors Forum
The Kilkenny Age Friendly Senior’s Forum was established back in 2010. The structure of the Forum was agreed by older people during consultation meetings and comprises of members from older peoples’ groups and individuals.
The Kilkenny Age Friendly Senior’s Forum represents the voice of the older people throughout Kilkenny. This voluntary group gives the opportunity for older people to share their concerns as older people living in their community and to work with key agencies and service providers to resolve these issues. The aim of the Forum is to ensure that Kilkenny is a great place to grow old in.
The Forum ensures that older people in Kilkenny participate in the decisions with agencies which affect their lives.
It provide an active channel of communication between the Kilkenny Senior’s Forum and the Age Friendly County Alliance which is an overarching group made up of statutory and non-statutory agencies that provide services to older people.
It ensures that it represents the views of older people at local, regional and national level.
The Forum is currently looking for new members with a variety of skills and interests to continue to develop Kilkenny as a great place in which to grow old.
Membership is Free.

The Kilkenny Age Friendly Seniors Forum may be contacted at
Kilkenny Age Friendly Seniors Forum
42 Parliament Street
Phone Number 056-7772787
Mobile 087-6218589
E mail

Carlow Kilkenny Services Providers Forum
The Carlow Kilkenny Services Providers Forum is led by the HSE and comprises of staff and Senior Forum members who deliver age friendly services on the ground and who are in a position to incorporate age friendly concepts in the delivery of services.

Dr Mia McLaughlin,  HSE Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist
Caroline Kennedy,  Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland
Dr Emer Ahern,  HSE Consultant Geriatrician
Teresa Hennessy,  HSE – Senior Health Promotion Officer – HSE
Moira Duggan,  Kilkenny Leader Partnership
Joan Doogue,  Manager St. Fiacc’s House, Carlow
Marian Manning,  St. Lazarian’s Carlow
Michael Delahunty,  Kilkenny County Council
Karl Duffy / Annette Fox,  Carlow Community Development Partnership
Mary Farrell,  Sacred Heart Hospital, Carlow
Neifinn Bolton,  HSE Occupational Therapist, Dept of Psychiatry of Later Life
Edel Keogh,  St. Catherine’s Community Centre, Carlow
Wayne Fennell,  Carlow Older Persons Forum
Margaret Moore,  Carlow County Council
Catriona Bambrick,  Kilkenny County Council
Betty Dewberry,  Kilkenny Age Friendly Seniors Forum
Deirdre Watson,  Kilkenny Age Friendly Seniors Forum
Mary Walsh, Family Carers Ireland
Aidan Fitzpatrick / Anthony Farrell,  Garda Siochana
Josie Galway,  Director of Nursing, St. Columbas Hospital, Thomastown and Castlecomer District Hospital
Agnes Noud,  Manager Carlow Day Centre
Josephine Coyne,  County Librarian Kilkenny County Council
Mary Colclough,  Carlow / Kilkenny Contact Befriending Service

What did older people tell us?

What did older people across County Kilkenny tell us? (A snapshot)

The Kilkenny Age Friendly County Strategy 2017-2022 is largely based on the Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) National Indicators Report which issued in 2016 and in which Kilkenny and 500 older people from Kilkenny participated.

The key findings were as follows:

   No difficulty % some difficulty % great difficulty %
Average 59% 25% 15%
Kilkenny 53% 30% 18%

Other issues identified were the lack of availability of seats and resting places, the quality and continuity of pats and pavements, the need for additional pedestrian criossings and traffic calming measures, longer pedestrian crossing times, the provision of more older person car parking spaces and the need for improved up keep of public areas.

Public Spaces and Buildings

How much do you like living in your neighbourhood?
(Possible answers: Like it a lot, like it a little, neither like it or dislike it, dislike it, dislike it a lot)

  Like it a lot %
Average 88%
Kilkenny 95%

Feeling safe out and about at night

  very safe % Fairly safe % Neither unsafe or safe % Fairly unsafe % Very Safe %
Average 30% 34% 18% 13% 5%
Kilkenny 43% 31% 14% 10% 3%


Difficulty with transport most or all of the time?

(No %, Yes %)

Difficulty with transport by Non Drivers most or all of the time? (No %, Yes%)
  No% Yes%   No% Yes%
Average 90.3% 9.7% National Average 79% 21%
Kilkenny 92.3% 7.7% Kilkenny 83% 18%

Any problems with Housing Conditions?  (No%, Yes%)

  No % Yes %
Average 90% 10%
Kilkenny 94% 6%

Any problems with Housing Upkeep?

  No % Yes %
Average 75% 25%
Kilkenny 84% 16%

Had to go without heating in the past 12 months due to lack of money

  No % Yes %
Average 93% 7%
Kilkenny 95.5% 4.5%

Social Participation

24% of men and 39% of women age 70 years and older live alone.
21% of men and 33% of women age 65 years and older live alone.
92% on average meet friends monthly.
48% take part in community groups monthly.
11% have some/great difficulty accessing a venue where they can meet friends.
80% satisfied with availability of social contacts with walking distance.
25% volunteer monthly.

Participation in informal education?

  No % Yes %
National Average 90% 10%
Kilkenny 94% 6%

21% experienced barriers to participation. (Most common barriers being no suitable or interesting course available, personal incapacity or ill health and a lack of transport, cost or responsibilities in the home)
4% feel lonely often. 21% feel lonely some of the time.
3% feel isolated often.12% feel isolated some of the time.
4% lack companionship often.19% lack companionship some of the time.
61% feel in tune with the people around them often.17% feel in time with people around them most of the time.

Respect and Social Inclusion
12% have experienced negative attitudes or behaviours towards them as an older person.
8.8% feel that other people have negative attitudes about older people taking part. These adults are less likely to take part in community activities and volunteering net of age, health, education and income.

In response to the question how does perceived discrimination compare to other barriers to community participation 61% stated that they are less likely to participate due to lack of interest in the activities, 44% stated that they are less likely to participate due to not knowing what activities are available and 40% stated that they are less likely to participate due to perceived discrimination.

Civic Participation and Employment.

Employment range age 55-64 is similar to EU average and is increasing
Volunteering rate is 3rd higher in Europe-1 in 4 do unpaid work for organisations weekly, 1 in 3 take care of children and grand children weekly.
There are high levels of Social Engagement-85% take part in social leisure activities at least weekly and 9 in 10 have at least one supportive relative or friend.
While there are high rates of driving as the main form of transport for those aged 55 and over, public transport ratings in rural areas are lower-less that 25% stating that they are good or excellent.

Communication and Information.

The most popular information sources in order starting from the most popular to the least popular were National TV, National Radio, Local Radio, Newspapers, word of mouth, mobile phone ,landline phone, parish/community, with internet being the least popular.

• 7% of older people cited difficulties in getting information about local events and activities,
• 9.9% had difficulties in getting information on Health services or entitlements and
• 9.3% had difficulties in getting information on other social entitlements such as social care.

Internet Use (other than for work)


Every day/almost everyday -%

Weekly (but not every day) % Monthly (but not every week)-%

Do not use %

National Average


16.5% 6.5%




15.6% 9.3%


Ireland ranks in 11th place in terms of the Percentage of those aged 50+ who use the internet for use other than for work .

Community Support and Health Services.
• 62% of respondents aged 70+ rated their own health to be very good, 31% rated it to be fair and 7.7% rated it to be bad/very bad.
• 76% of those in the Age Group 55-69 years rated their own health to be Very good, 19 % rated it to be Fair and 5% rated it to be Bad/very bad.

The three most prevalent chronic conditions were:
• Arthritis 31%,
• Hypertension/high blood pressure 29%, and
• High Cholesterol 21%.

• 31% age 55-69 had two or more chronic conditions diagnosed by a doctor and for those aged 70+ 52% had two or more chronic conditions.

• 15% were current daily smokers (daily).

Physical Activity
67% of the over 50’s report low levels of physical activity.

At Least 150 minutes of physical activity per week?
  No % Yes %
Average 49% 51%
Kilkenny 45% 55%

• Those who do walk stated that they do so for Recreation Purposes (67%), Getting from A to B (49%) and Health and Fitness (66%).

Accessing Local Health Services

• 15% had some or great difficulty accessing local health services,
• 9.9% had difficulty in getting information about health services or entitlements.
• 65% of those in the 65+ age group had taken up the flu vaccine which was 10% below the annual target of 75%.

Have a long standing illness?
  Yes %  No %
Average 43% 57%
Kilkenny 40% 60%

How has the County responded?

How has the County Kilkenny responded? (An overview)

Kilkenny Age Friendly Strategy & Action Plan 2011

Kilkenny has been involved in this process of becoming as an age friendly county since 2010, consulting across the county with older adults and developing a countywide strategy and action plan in response to needs identified during this consultation in relation to the 8 World Health Organisation themes of

  • Built environment
  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Social participation
  • Respect and social inclusion
  • Civic participation and employment
  • Communication,
  • Community support and health services.

The first Strategy was launched in 2011 and covered the period 2011-2016 and may be accessed HERE and its implementation can be monitored through the various Annual Reports prepared during this period which may be accessed HERE.

Kilkenny Age Friendly County Strategy 2017-2022

Six years on the Kilkenny Age Friendly Age Alliance prepared Kilkenny’s second strategy, the Kilkenny Age Friendly County Strategy 2017-2022. The Strategy was prepared following extensive consultation with Service Providers, the Kilkenny Age Friendly Seniors Forum,(formerly the Kilkenny Older Peoples Forum), the Age Friendly Alliance and is largely based on the findings and conclusions of the 2015 Health and Positive Ageing Initiative Report (HaPAI) for County Kilkenny, in which 500 older people participated. It was also influenced by “Memory Matters” –the Carlow-Kilkenny Community Dementia Project and by the strategic direction provided through the National Positive Ageing Strategy 2013 and Healthy Ireland – A Framework for Improved Health & Wellbeing 2013 – 2025

Strategy Outcomes

The Kilkenny Age Friendly Strategy 2017-2022 was prepared and the actions were decided on so as to provide the following outcomes for older people.

  • That older people may live in communities that provide recreation, leisure and services that are accessible and responsive to the well being of people of all ages.
  • That older people have the necessary information and transport to access the supports and services they need.
  • That older people have choice and the necessary supports to live in the home and community that feels the most safe and secure.
  • That older people feel and be involved and influential, and be valued for their life experience, talents, and contributions.
  • That older people have increased opportunities to engage and be engaged in social, cultural and recreational activities with people of all ages.
  • That older people be informed and connected to what is going on in the county through a variety of media from word of mouth to modern technology.
  • That older people be involved in civic, social and economic campaigns and fora that enhance quality of life and engagement in the community.
  • That older people have improved local supports and services to help maintain mental, physical, social and emotional health and well being.

The Strategy contains 84 actions to be implemented over a period of 5 years by 10 implementing partners as follows:

  • Kilkenny County Council
  • Health Service Executive
  • An Garda Síochána
  • Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership
  • Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
  • Kilkenny Age Friendly Seniors Forum
  • The Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board,
  • Kilkenny Carlow Contact Be-Friending Service
  • The Alzheimer’s Society
  • Kilkenny Age Friendly Alliance

The Kilkenny Age Friendly Strategy 2017-2022 may be accessed HERE 

 Annual Report 2017

The first annual report on the current Kilkenny Age Friendly Strategy 2017-2022 covers the year 2017. The report outlines the key actions taken under the eight World Health Organisations headings in order to achieve the outcomes listed above. The Annual Report for 2017 may be accessed HERE



Kilkenny’s Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme

In partnership with Kilkenny Chamber and Kilkenny Local Enterprise Office the Kilkenny Age Friendly Programme have adopted the Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme enabling local businesses to adopt actions following consultation with older customers to improve access to services and promoting opportunities for older people to have a better shopping experience in local towns and villages. Age Friendly Ireland’s Business Recognition training was delivered to 66 businesses in Kilkenny with over 80 staff members in attendance. Each Business received their Age Friendly Business Charter at a ceremony at the end of March 2019.  Kilkenny are also very proud of the fact that their programme includes the first Age Friendly Shopping Centre in Ireland (McDonagh Junction).