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Cork is a city of wonderful character, a vibrant culture and active economy. It is a city of rich architectural literary and educational heritage, a city of communities of varied social economic backgrounds and diverse groups of older people.

An Age Friendly city is a place where more and more older people can stay living in their own homes and communities, lead healthy and active lives, get to where they want to go, when they want to go, and are valued contributors to the lives of their communities.

The ageing nature of Cork City is a significant issue going forward. By 2050, the number of persons over 65 is expected to be close to one in four of the population. Cork City is the third fastest ageing administrative county in the state.

Age Friendly Bench Initiative in Cork City

In May 2014 Cork City Council announced its intention to apply for Age Friendly City status with an official launch and in the Autumn/Winter of 2014 commenced localised consultation in Cork’s six district electoral divisions (DEDs).

In the spring of 2015 interested parties were invited to form the Cork Older Peoples Council.  They selected 4 representatives to articulate the views of older people on the Cork Age Friendly City Alliance.

Cork was designated an Age Friendly City in April of 2019 and was one of 31 Local Authorities who were presented with their WHO Charter on December 16, 2019.

The Cork City Age Friendly Alliance

The Cork City Age Friendly Alliance is an interagency partnership which was formally established in April 2015 comprising of senior personnel in public sector agencies, and community organisations that promote a positive approach to ageing, and includes representatives of the Cork City Older People’s Council.

List of Alliance Member Organisations

  • Cork City Council
  • Health Service Executive (HSE)
  • Cork Age Friendly Older People’s Representatives
  • Age Friendly Ireland
  • Cork Education and Training Board (CETB)
  • An Garda Síochána
  • Bus Éireann
  • Cork Chamber
  • Cork Business Association (CBA)
  • Cork City Partnership
  • Cork Healthy City initiative

Each of the Alliance members has given commitments that will significantly help to improve the quality of life of older people in Cork City in the coming years.

The ambition for the Age Friendly Strategy is that Cork City will:

  • Become a great place to grow old.
  • Have easily accessible public buildings, shops and services.
  • Incorporate older people’s views into significant decisions being made about Cork.
  • Promote a positive attitude to ageing and address stereotypes about older people.
  • Create opportunities for older people to be engaged with their city socially, as employees and as volunteers.

This strategy identifies overarching actions that need interagency and cross-sectoral collaboration to make progress. It also addresses the WHO themes where each agency commits to make progress under those themes. Many of the actions will have a very tangible impact on Cork City, while others, such as those relating to awareness-raising, will be more subtly felt.

An example of one of the Strategy Actions and goals of the Cork City Age Friendly Alliance was to provide Age Friendly Seating in the city centre to encourage older people to visit, shop and meet in the city centre. The challenge was to source funding to deliver on the vision of the older people’s representatives. The process involved conducting a walkability audit and a review of existing seating in the city centre. Funding was secured from the National Transport Authority and with the help of Cork City Council cross-directorate collaborations and external contractors, the end result was Age Friendly Seating delivered across city centre locations chosen by older people’s representatives.

Cork City Age Friendly Bench initiative

Cork City Libraries

The Cork City libraries are all designated Age Friendly Libraries. Each Library has an Age Friendly Champion who works with older people to co-design the libraries to continuously improve their services for older people. The city libraries are pivotal to the success of the Cork City Age Friendly Programme and host a range of Age Friendly activities, groups and initiatives across all sites on a daily basis.


Local Programme Manager
Siubhan Mc Carthy
Local HAFH Coordinator
Gillian Hogan
Local Housing Technical Advisor
Eleanor Lehane
Local Older People’s Council Members
Finbar Coughlan
Noel Dempsey
Nora O’Donovan
Phil Ui Mhurchu
Local Age Friendly Ambassador
John Mullins