5 February 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

In a somewhat unusual but stylish move Age Action launched their General Election Manifesto aimed at candidates, challenging them to earn the vote of older people.

The launch, which took place in the function room of the YWCA, Monaghan Town on Monday afternoon, was packed to capacity with an audience of voters who were intent on participating not spectating.

At the last election 88% of older people came out to make their voices heard, so it is not a sector that can be ignored.

The attendance from public representatives and election hopefuls was testament to the fact that voters aged over 65 do hold power.

No less than three Oireachtas members were present: Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys (Fine Gael), Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (Sinn Fein) and Deputy Brendan Smith (Fianna Fail).

Election candidates in attendance were Micheál Callaghan (Green Party), John Wilson (Independent), Jimmy Mee (Independent) and Michael McDermott (Direct Democracy Ireland). A member of each political party was invited to attend.

Eamon Timmins, Chief Executive of Age Action chaired proceedings, keeping a tight eye on the time so that each of the candidates got to have their say. He also ensured that anyone who wanted to ask a question got an opportunity to.

As could have been predicted, health dominated the debate and emotions ran high with some people weeping as they told their stories, whilst others shouted in anger.

Age Action’s election priorities are: a right to community care, a fair State pension and the appointment of a minister for older people.

John Wilson, one of the election candidates speaking at the Age Action Q&A with candidates in the YWCA Building in Monaghan Town. Included are (L-R) Micheál O’Callaghan, Green Party, Caoimhghín Ó Caolain TD, Sinn Fein, Eamon Timmins, Age Action, John Wilson, Independent, Heather Humphreys, Fine Gael, Jimmy Mee, Independent, Michael McDermott, Direct Democracy Ireland and Brendan Smith, Fianna Fail. ©Rory Geary/The Northern Standard FULL STORY NEXT WEEK.


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