Silver-screen star to launch plan for the golden years

CELEBRATED actress Maureen O’Hara is coming to Kilkenny at the end of this month to launch the county’s Age-Friendly strategy.

CELEBRATED actress Maureen O’Hara is coming to Kilkenny at the end of this month to launch the county’s Age-Friendly strategy.

The strategy puts Kilkenny on its way to becoming Ireland’s second official Age-Friendly County based on the World Health Organisation framework. It includes considerations such as civic participation, social inclusion, housing, transport, public buildings and outdoor spaces.

“When I was thinking about what was being achieved and celebrating the work that has been done over the past year and for the future, I couldn’t think of anyone better than Maureen O’Hara to launch the strategy,” said Debra O’Neill, regional programme manager for the Age-Friendly County programme.

One aspect of the initiative is the idea that Ireland, and Kilkenny in particular, would be an ideal place in which to retire.

“Considering that Maureen O’Hara spent 60 or 70 years in America and then retired in Ireland – to leave Los Angeles to come back to live here,” Ms O’Neill said, it was only fitting that the Quiet Man star be invited to launch the Age-Friendly strategy.

“She is in her 91st year this year, and she saves her energy for things that are close to her heart,” Ms O’Neill added.

Kilkenny’s Age-Friendly County initiative was launched a year ago, and a series of public meetings were held last year in which over 400 older people contributed their views and opinions about issues that are important at this stage of their lives. Research and baseline studies were also consulted in the creation of the strategy.

Any further ideas can be sent to agefriendlycounty@gmail.com and the initiative has a Facebook page titled Kilkenny Age Friendly County.

Festival on ageing

Another international coup for Kilkenny is that the city is due to host a global festival to celebrate ageing later this year. Greystock, the first global festival to celebrate ageing, will take place in Kilkenny from September 30 to October 2.