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Staff

Patrick Connolly - Chief Executive

Paddy Connolly was Chief Executive Officer of Inclusion Ireland since early 2012. Inclusion Ireland is a national disability organisation that advocates for the rights of persons with an intellectual disability.

Prior to this Paddy was CEO of Cairde for 14 years. Cairde advocates for the rights of Black and Minority & Ethnic Communities in Ireland. As part of his work Paddy has developed values-based approaches to equality and Human Rights advocacy and the application of values-based organisation management. He has particular interest and experience in managing organisational change and strengthening NGO capacity to bring about social change. 

Earlier in his career Paddy worked in social care, youth work, community development and he has practiced as a certified family mediator and conflict specialist. Paddy holds a BA in Management and an MA in International Relations. In May of 2018 Paddy was appointed by President Michael D. Higgins as a Commissioner with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. 

 

CAROLINE O'CONNELL - HEAD OF FUNDRAISING

Caroline O'Connell

Having studied Science (TCD) and Journalism (DIT), Caroline then ‘fell into’ fundraising and never looked back.

Since 1999 she has held Senior Management positions with Dublin Simon Community, CARI and Plan International and also worked as a fundraising consultant. 

In addition to fundraising she has co-ordinated internationally recognised and high profile campaigns, conferences and events. 

She has played a key role in the development of many charities and generated tens of millions in fundraising during her career, whilst also gaining a wealth of experience and knowledge of not-for-profit sector management. 

GAIL KENNEDY - HEAD OF RETAIL OPERATIONS

Gail Kennedy

Gail Kennedy joined Age Action in 2016 and within 12 months doubled the size of the organisation’s network of charity stores with new outlets opening in Ballincollig, Co Cork, Terenure, Dublin, and Francis St. Galway and our new 10,000 square foot furniture Showroom in Cherry Orchard industrial estate. Our stores are recognised as the best high-end charity stores in the sector. 

Gail brought more than 20 years retail management experience to Age Action. She worked in the private retail sector in a number of senior management roles in Ireland's leading big-box retailers including Dunnes, Marks & Spencer's and Woodies, Gail combines her enjoyment of working in the charity sector with her business management skills. Gail has a vast portfolio of expertise in retail buying, selling, merchandising, store development & design, compliance and senior business management. 

Gail holds an honours degree from the National College of Art and Design along with a number of business qualifications. 

CORONA JOYCE - SENIOR POLICY OFFICER

Corona is Senior Policy Officer with Age Action. She is responsible for the development of Age Action’s policy and research programme, ensuring that it is shaped by the lived experience of older people and the views of members.

Before joining Age Action, she worked in policy and programme management roles with the Irish Red Cross, the Economic and Social Research Institute and the United Nations Development Programme.

BILLY O'KEEFFE - LIFE LONG LEARNING

Billy O'Keefe

Billy O’Keeffe joined Age Action as Programme Manager in October 2016. Billy began his working life as a teacher before moving into the charity sector. With over 25 years’ experience working with Irish charities including SVP and Crosscare, Billy has also been involved in the area of development education, twinning schools in Ireland with schools in South Africa.  

Billy oversees Age Action’s Lifelong Learning, Ageing and Development as well as the U3A programme, and has significant experience working on the frontline with vulnerable groups. 

 

JENNIFER COEN - OFFICE MANAGER

Jennifer Coen

Jennifer has been with Age Action for seven years, joining in 2011 as Assistant CE Supervisor having previous worked in the Central Remedial Clinic. She went on to become Officer Manager in 2013.

Before joining the organisation she lived abroad and co-owned and ran a successful business in Spain for eight years before returning to Ireland in 2008.

GERARD SCULLY - SENIOR INFORMATION OFFICER

Gerard is with Age Action nearly 22 years, he came in originally on a Community Employment Scheme as a Librarian and Information Officer.  He has a professional qualification in Librarianship and Information provision and a Masters in Anthropology. 

Before Age Action he worked in Focus Point and Pavee Point as a Librarian.  He manages Age Action’s Information and Advocacy Service and continues to enjoy working with and for older people. 

 

JOHN O MAHONY – NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGER CARE & REPAIR

John is the Care & Repair National Development Manager and Manager of Age Action South.

He originally qualified in Business and his early career was in retail, sales and banking. He then joined the charity sector, working for eight years in the Fundraising Departments of ISPCC and Threshold before returning to education to study Community Development.

In 2010 John became the first Age Action staff member based in Cork and launched our Care & Repair and Advocacy services there. He has since overseen the opening of a dedicated new office in Cork which facilitates Care & Repair, Getting Started, Advocacy and Fundraising work, supported by a charity shop in Ballincollig.

Under John’s leadership the Care & Repair service has doubled the number of locations in which it is available around the country and tripled the number of services it provides to older people.  

John holds a Master’s Degree in Electronic Business and a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Development.

 

JENNIFER GLANSFORD - NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT MANAGER GETTING STARTED

Jennifer started out with Age Action in 2011 as a volunteer administrator and later that year, was appointed as a Project Officer for the Getting Started Programme and developed the programme in the South Leinster and Dublin areas.

In October 2016, she became the National Development Manager of the Getting Started Programme and has continued to promote and grow the programme nationwide, working with a team of six Regional Project Officers.

Jennifer has over 20 years of experience working in the community and voluntary sector with her background being in addiction services, training and education development and project management. Her commitment to community development is born from over 30 years volunteering with a variety of organisations. 

AUDRY DEANE - HEALTH POLICY OFFICER

Audry is Health Policy Officer with Age Action. She works to ensure that national health and social care policy and programmes improves outcomes for older service users and that it reflecst the lived experience of older people. 

Audry was policy and advocacy expert in health, education and European affairs with the St Vincent de Paul for 16 years. She also works with other NGOs such as The Wheel, European Anti Poverty Network, Dóchas and the St Stephen's Green Trust to achieve better outcomes for marginalised groups.

 

Raising the Roof - Homes for All Ages

Raise the Roof Rally for Housing 18 May

Preparing to Raise the Roof

Age Action, motivated by intergenerational solidarity, is joining the Raise the Roof campaign to tackle the continuing housing crisis that is affecting people of all ages.  People are being mobilised through trade unions and community organisations, to stage a major national rally on the housing crisis under the banner of Raise the Roof, in Dublin on Saturday May 18.

When people take an interest in what is happening in their local community, seek solutions to problems and initiate improvements they are being active citizens. Community is the foundational building block of society and housing is fundamental to community. Ireland’s housing crisis is rightly dominating public discourse as it undermines our ability to live with dignity as part of a community.  Ireland’s changing demographic brings with it a changing demand for homes that meet the needs of an ageing population.

The Government’s failure to deliver on a whole of Government approach to ageing and provide good quality social housing to meet demand has resulted in older people feeling subjected to negative, ageist language about their needs and wishes for suitable housing and health supports as is evidenced in the narrative on ‘down-sizing’ or ‘right-sizing’.

In the 60s and 70s the State implemented policies to support owner occupation of housing. People on lower incomes were able to buy their own homes which went some way to addressing wealth inequalities. According to Professor Tony Fahey, writing in Social Justice Ireland’s book ‘From Here to Where?’, by the year 2000 even low-income households owned substantial housing wealth and were less disadvantaged by inequalities in housing wealth than they were by inequalities in income.

Most of the growing population of young private renters today grew up in homes that were owned by their parents. Prof Fahey identified the essential features of secure long-term housing as being affordable, and having secure tenure. As he says, “today’s private rented housing has neither of these features”.

Looking at the future needs of an ageing population, for those aged 50-54 almost 10% were renting from private landlords at the time of Census 2016. It can be assumed that these people will continue in the rental market beyond their working years which leaves them in a vulnerable situation.

We encourage any and all of you who can to be active citizens and march with us on Saturday May 18 in a show of intergenerational solidarity. We will be gathering at 1pm at Parnell Square. You will find us behind an Age Action banner. At 2pm we will march down O'Connell Street towards Custom House Quay and join the Rally for Housing (location to be confirmed) by 3pm.

For more information about the campaign visit www.raisetheroof.ie

 

 

You might be due a tax refund

 

 

Revenue wants to make sure that everyone knows about the tax credits, reliefs and exemptions they are entitled to. Revenue wrote to some people recently telling them that they might be entitled to a tax refund going back as far as 2014.
If you think that you might also be due a tax refund for the year 2014, you need to submit a claim to Revenue before midnight on 31 December 2018. If you don’t want to miss out, submit your claim to Revenue before then.