Age Friendly Ireland has been making Ireland a better place for older people since 2009.

The age we live in

As we age, the knowledge that there is an ever-improving system of support in place for us within our communities is a deeply comforting thing.

Since 2009, Ireland has been on a journey to become an Age Friendly Country in line with the World Health Organization's (WHO) global Age Friendly framework.

The Age Friendly Ireland initiative supports communities across the country by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic, and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults.

Local age-friendly programmes work to provide walkable streets, housing and transportation options, access to key services, and opportunities for older people to participate in community activities. In doing so, the initiative helps communities to be better equipped to become appropriate lifelong homes for people of all ages. These local programmes involve the development of a multi-agency approach to age-related planning and service provision. They help cities and counties to be more inclusive of older people by addressing their expressed concerns and introducing practical responses aimed at improving the quality of life of all citizens.

Age Friendly Ireland brings together, supports and provides technical guidance to the 31 local authority-led, multiagency Age Friendly City and County Programmes.

Age Friendly Cork

Since embarking on its Age Friendly Towns Programme in 2016, Cork County Council has introduced the initiative in eight towns, with the aim of improving the quality of life of older people across the county. Kinsale, Bandon, Mitchelstown, and Cobh were the first towns to get started on their journey to Age Friendly status and continue to add initiatives such as promoting age-friendly businesses, developing age-friendly parking, age/wheelchair friendly outdoor seating, as well as running a host of inclusive activities for older people.

As part of the programme, Cork County Library has developed an Age Friendly Policy and Strategy, and in January 2019, Fermoy Library became Cork County Library’s pilot Age Friendly Library. The initiative involved consultation with older library users to assess their requirements in terms of library service and accessibility.

Age friendly initiatives in Cork county include: age friendly libraries; age friendly towns; the Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme; wheelchair friendly picnic benches; age friendly parking spaces; age friendly seats; age friendly shops; age friendly housing options; age friendly local information directory; the Mobile Library Service; age friendly tea parties; Cork County Older People Council; Cork County Age Friendly Alliance; monthly age friendly newsletter; and age friendly classes in computer skills.

Age Friendly Ireland Convention

Members of the Cork Older People’s Council joined over 200 people from across Ireland in Kilkenny recently to attend the Age Friendly Ireland National Older People’s Councils (OPC) Convention, addressing the issue of the technology gap experienced by older demographics.

Running from 9-10 May, the annual convention tackled concerns surrounding online banking, a cashless society, and automated customer service helplines; offering potential solutions to bridge this divide.

Speaking ahead of the event, Catherine McGuigan, Chief Officer of the Age Friendly Ireland Shared Service emphasised the vital role of open dialogue among older people, local authorities, and the Government. She said: “Older people are not a homogenous group, and it is essential that we hear from the collective voice so that older people themselves can co-design solutions to challenges.

“Over the past 15 years, they have done exactly that — and thousands of innovative initiatives have been implemented based on their recommendations,” added Ms McGuigan.

Age Friendly Towns in Cork







Passage West/ Monkstown