Tuesday 19 September 2017

George Hook: Face-to-face with the real victims of Noonan's cuts

George Hook continues his tour of the country and finds that the old may not be organised but are getting more angry

CELEBRATION OF AGE: Professor Cillian Twomey, retired consultant physician in geriatric medicine
CELEBRATION OF AGE: Professor Cillian Twomey, retired consultant physician in geriatric medicine
George Hook

George Hook

LAST week my tour around Ireland as part of the engagement with Bluebird Care, entitled Are We Minding an Ageing Population, took me to Cork. Two hundred people turned up to the Radisson Blu Hotel to talk about being old in Ireland.

Cork was the fourth in this series but the first meeting after the Budget. As usual, there were speakers from other charities like Age Action, Response and Alone; there was a cookery demonstration from award-winning chef Gary O'Hanlon; and advice from the Garda crime prevention unit.

However, it was Senator Deirdre Clune, former Fine Gael Lord Mayor of Cork, who came in for the toughest time. Senator Clune bravely held the Government line but there was no doubt that the grey lobby, which may not be very organised, is distinctly angry. One gets the sense that in the local elections, the Government parties may well take a hiding from voters over the pension age.

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