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Age Link

‘Keyboard Warriors’ led by Waterford worker


mma Maguire, a primary health care worker with Waterford Travellers’ CDP praised the “keyboard warriors” who took action to remove two racist sites on Facebook in May. “Most people I know in Community Development are very highly motivated and we do a lot of work to promote equality,” she said. Emma approached Pavee Point and alerted them to the fact that there was a lobby group called ‘Hands Off Community Development’ on Facebook with over 900 members. She emailed members of the group and received 50 replies in one day from people, a lot of them her own friends, who were “disgusted” by the anti-Traveller sites. The emails kept coming for the rest of the week. “It was good to see that people cared. The sites were in breach of the law and needed to be shut down,” she said. “Nothing shocks me any more and I wasn’t at first upset by the racist statements, just astonished at the stupidity of those who published it, if they thought they were not breaking any law.” For good measure, a community group in Waterford put in a complaint to the Gardai, complete with screenshots for evidence.

Donncha O’Callaghan with development worker Lynda Wakefield and Mahon CDP co-ordinator Viv Sadd at the launch of Age Link by Mahon CDP

Donncha O’Callaghan launches age-link service


ahon CDP in Cork had Irish rugby star Donncha O’Callaghan launch the project’s new Voluntary Visitation Service called ‘Age Link’ in June. Donncha’s own grandmother Joan Roche is a recipient of the service which is the first of its kind outside one in Dublin. It’s volunteerdriven and is designed to combat loneliness. Joan is one of 11 older people in the area visited by an Age Link volunteer once a week. She described Donncha on the day of the launch as “her golden boy.” The 20 volunteers with the Age Link Service are drawn from the local area and they spend about an hour in the older person’s home chatting about activities and events locally that could benefit the older person. Sean Daly is one of the clients and he spoke at the launch, saying that volunteer Anne Downey cheers him up when she calls once a week: “I look forward to her visits, we have a chat and a cup of tea and she is more like a sister to me now. I’d be lost without her”. All the volunteers completed a comprehensive HSE-supported training


programme, which included Garda vetting and reference checks and they are able to identify people who may need further help. They relay that information to the CDP ‘s Age Link co-ordinator, Lynda Wakefield, who liaises with the public health nurses, the home help service and organisations like Meals on Wheels. The scheme was funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund and is supported by Mahon CDP which was set up in 1992 to tackle disadvantage, discrimination and exclusion. Project co-ordinator Viv Sadd said the visitation initiative works because the service is “very personal and very localised” and he hopes it will be replicated in other parts of the country. The event was covered by the national press and TV3. For more information, contact Viv or Lynda at Mahon CDP and they will provide full details of how the scheme works. E: lynda@mahoncdp.c

Support agencies for Family Resource Centres are cut from 7 to 2



Hot in Issue 33: Community Activists, shutting down hate, creating jobs/ Facebook hate sites shut down/ Minister Carey Interview/ Community...


Hot in Issue 33: Community Activists, shutting down hate, creating jobs/ Facebook hate sites shut down/ Minister Carey Interview/ Community...