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Age Friendly Ireland

Derived from the World Health Organisations Global Age Friendly Framework, Age Friendly Ireland is a Local Government led service in Ireland, working with multiple national stakeholders to prepare Ireland’s infrastructure and services for the predicted rapid increase in our older population.

Age Friendly Ireland works directly with older people nationwide to ensure that their voice is heard and valued when it comes to decision making at both policy and operational levels through active consultation. The shared service centre, based in Meath County Council, coordinates 35 local Age Friendly programmes across each local authority area in Ireland.

Age Friendly Ireland Timeline
Image Description

Age Friendly Ireland key milestones represented by WHO-coloured petals:

  • 2006-2007: A World Health Organisation Vision
  • Local Authority Municipality-Led Recommendation
  • 2006: Framework for developing Age Friendly Communities
  • 2008/2009: Programme Started in Louth
  • Methodology devised using a ‘Design and Build’ approach County by County roll out
  • 31 Local Authority led programmes across Ireland
  • 2011/2013: Dublin Declaration Signed
  • 2017: Transitioned into a Local Government Shared Service (Meath Co Co)

A Global Response | Age Friendly Ireland

Ireland commenced its journey to become an Age Friendly country in 2009, aligning with the World Health Organization’s global Age Friendly framework. This WHO programme was established in 2007 to respond to population ageing at global level. Age Friendly Ireland was set up to assist with the expansion and development of age friendly programmes across all administrative areas of Ireland.

Age Friendly Ireland Shared Service provides networks and communication channels, advice and technical support to local programmes. It operates to support the scaling up and replication of Age Friendly good practice nationally. In Ireland local authorities are the lead agencies for this multi partner programme.

Initially funded by Atlantic Philanthropies, Age Friendly Ireland transitioned into a Shared Service of local government in 2017, hosted by Meath County Council. This was a very significant development that has supported the mainstreaming and embedding of age friendly principles in multisectoral work practices.

Our Vision

Ireland is a great country in which to grow old

A couple sharing breakfast

Our Mission

Age Friendly Ireland guides the development of effective city and county-based, multi-agency Age Friendly Strategies aimed at improving the quality of life of older people throughout Ireland.

Age Friendly Ireland’s mission statement is that Ireland will become a great place in which to grow older. In order to achieve this, our plans must be informed by the needs of today’s older people, so that future generations will experience their communities as age friendly.

The Canadian planner, Glenn Miller put it simply as –

‘If you design for the young you exclude the old, but if you design for the old you include everyone.’

Our Core Values

Our Core Values


Working across public, private & NGO & Academic sector


Measuring improved outcomes for older people


Thinking differently and finding solutions


Older people find solutions to issues and help us determine priorities with positive meaningful engagement consulted
with 20,000 to date.


Key Stakeholders working collaboratively on an interagency basis


Sharing learnings, adopting models of good practice demonstrating cost effectiveness responsibilisation

Colloboration has been central to the success of Age Friendly Ireland. Collaboration between agencies and organisations, collaboration with older people themselves. Where the programme is working well key agencies – City and County Councils, the Health Service Executive, An Garda Síochána, Chambers of Commerce, transport providers, academic institutions, NGO’s and others – have agreed to share resources and plan collaboratively at local level. Local government is delighted to be leading this programme but is both dependent on and appreciative of the full and active engagement of these key agencies and organisations through the Age Friendly Alliances.

The Voice of the Older Person is central to the development of Age Friendly programmes and good practice. Older People’s Councils have been developed in every Age Friendly Programme area so that the views of a diverse range of older people can inform how the Irish programme is run.

Well over 20,000 older people have participated in the many age friendly programme led consultations – town hall meetings, round table discussions, focus groups, workshops, annual general meetings and world café processes. In parallel, more than 10,500 older people have completed household-based interviews as part of a research collaboration involving Age Friendly Ireland and the Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI). Together, this extensive consultation has shone an important light on the experiences and preferences of older people living in our communities. Significantly, this consultation has allowed us to identify gaps and the supports needed by older people to live healthy and independent lives as they grow older.