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Taking Pride - celebrating diversity and inclusion

Published 26/06/2019

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Pride Week runs from June 20th – 30th June is the festival celebrating the LGBTQI+ community. In 3 days time the Pride Parade and March will take place in Dublin on Saturday 29th June and is the culmination of 10 days highlighting the diversity and inclusion of people. Age Action values diversity, social justice and inclusivity.  As an organisation that represents all older people, this includes people who identify as LGBTQI+.

It is only 26 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in Irish law and just over 4 years since the citizens of Ireland voted for marriage equality.  Our older cohort of citizens have witnessed, and led, these changes but some have been left behind and find it difficult to live and identify as LGBTQI+. 

In the UK, a report has just been published highlighting health inequalities among older LGBT people. This builds on previous evidence which shows that older LGBT people have worse outcomes across different aspects of their lives including physical health, loneliness, social isolation, mental health, and experiences of violence. Action is needed to address these health inequalities for older LGBT people through improving the inclusivity of mainstream health and care provision, strengthening the training of health and care staff and enhancing data collection around older LGBT people and their health and care needs. The full report can be viewed at https://ilcuk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/ILC-Raising-the-equality-flag.pdf

Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion

After the St Patrick’s Day Parade, the second biggest public event on the streets of the capital city is the Dublin’s Pride Parade. The term ‘Pride’ didn’t become popular until the early 1980’s, a tradition established following the Stonewall Riots in New York.

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community against a police raid that began on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Manhattan.

The holding of LGBTQ+ events at the end of June was adopted very early in Dublin. In June 1974, 10 people marched from the Department of Justice on Stephen’s Green to the British Embassy to protest the criminalisation of homosexuality, a law that was a hangover from colonial times.

In March 1983, the Dublin Lesbian & Gay Collective held a protest march in response to the failure to commit to prison those convicted of the murder of Declan Flynn in Fairview Park. About 900 people marched from Liberty Hall to Fairview Park. The National LGBT Federation organised the first Dublin Pride Parade which went from Stephen’s Green to the GPO in June of that year.

In 1993 homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland with the passage of the second phase of the bill to decriminalise sexual acts between consenting adults under the Criminal Law Bill (Sexual Offences) in 1993.

Last year over 60,000 people marched in the Dublin Pride Parade. In just a generation, the annual parade and festival has grown from a handful of people to become one of the biggest and most popular events in Ireland.

More to Do

Along the way the laws and constitution of Ireland have been changed and with that the hearts and minds of many of our citizens. But there is still a long way to go.

Discrimination against older LGBTQI+ is the focus of a European funded programme in which Age Action is a participant.  For more details see www.best4older-lgbti.org

If you would like to find out more about Age Action’s work in this area of are interested in taking part in upcoming events around this topic then please make contact with our Lifelong Learning team or email billy.okeeffe@ageaction.ie directly.

Ally2Ally Campaign - LGBT Ireland are running a campaign to raise awareness of their support services.  They are asking people to 'come out' as LGBT Allies and to speak to their friends, family, colleagues and peers about how they can be a better LGBT Ally.  For more information see www.lgbt.ie

To see the full listing of  Pride events happening over the next few days go to www.dublinpride.ie

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Age Action Calls for €9 per week Rise In Old Age Pension in Budget 2020

Organisation also proposes that Government commission research on the Cost of Ageing to ensure policy meets needs of ageing population

Age Action, the advocacy organisation for older people, has called for the state’s Old Age Pension to increase by €9 per week in Budget 2020. The call was made at today’s Pre-Budget Forum, which is being organised by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and is being held in Dublin Castle’s Conference Centre.

Celine Clarke, Age Action’s Head of Advocacy and Communications, said that a €9 increase in the weekly Old Age Pension would be a key step in building towards the Government’s own commitment that the pension should be set at 35% of average weekly earnings.

“The National Pensions Framework was published almost 10 years ago and it committed the Government to benchmarking the Old Age Pension at 35% of average weekly earnings. In order to move the current pension payment towards the delivery of that target, we are calling on the Government to increase the weekly pension payment by €9,” Celine Clarke said.

Ms Clarke provided additional context to Age Action’s call for a €9 per week pension rise, when she explained that in 2009, the weekly income for pensioners depending on the State – when all the benefits were added together – was €265.44, this year it’s €273.63 – only €7.89 higher than it was higher than it was 10 years ago. 

“While pensions have increased by a welcome €5 per week over the last few years, there is no clear and transparent formula informing these increases, and Ireland is also unusual in setting the pension rate in the budget every year. Age Action is urging the Government to consider applying a triple lock formula for pension increases – namely, guaranteeing that the basic State pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is the larger.”

In addition to the proposals on pension increases, Age Action is also calling for:

  • The commissioning of research by Government on the Cost of Ageing to inform the development of policy so that the country can meet the needs of our ageing population – a similar exercise has been carried out in relation to the Cost of Disability;
  • Increase the income threshold for all means-tested benefits in line with increases to the Old Age Pension and secondary benefits;
  • Increase the Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week;
  • Increase the Fuel Allowance rate by €2.35 and reintroduce a 32-week payment period.

Pre-Budget Submission to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

ENDS

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