By Dan Walsh at County Hall, Wexford
Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that in 2016 almost 15% of the population of Wexford was over the age of 65 with a projection this will grow to 22% in the South-East by 2031.
“We must be ready to face the challenges that such an eventuality will bring to society and the services required to support this ageing population,” said Mary Butler TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health who welcomed and launched the Age Friendly Strategy 2022-2026 in the Council Chamber at County Hall recently.
Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy, Cathaoirleach Wexford County Council told the invited attendance; “Working on this strategy has given us an opportunity to listen to older people and find out what it is like to be an older person living in County Wexford, the good things as well as the challenges and issues.”
Wexford County Council CEO, Tom Enright, added; “This strategy is the culmination of an extensive consultation process that brought together the older residents of Wexford and the key service providers from the statutory, voluntary, community and private sectors to identify how we can make Wexford a better place in which to live, work, enjoy life and grow older.”
Kevin Molloy, Chairperson of Wexford Older People’s Council, stated that “As life expectancy increases, the need to ensure that Wexford becomes a great county in which to grow old is increasing too. The voices of older people and their concerns and issues are captured in our second Age Friendly Strategy. The work of Wexford’s Older People’s Council with Wexford County Council and the Age Friendly Alliance is for the good of everybody regardless of age.”
There were also other presentations; Age Friendly National Perspective by Alice Corbett, Age Friendly Ireland, and Findings from public consultation were delivered by Dr Yvonne Byrne, Rural Development Consultant.