Press Release

Minister Brady opens the Bealtaine Festival 2010 Network Day

Áine Brady, T.D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion, today    (17 November 2009) officially opened the Bealtaine Festival 2010 Network    Day organised by Age and Opportunity. The purpose of the event was to    review and plan next years Festival, by giving organisers a chance to    network and to learn from each other.

The Bealtaine Festival is an Irish success story. It has grown, since    its inception 14 years ago, into the largest co-operative arts festival in    Ireland to celebrate older age. It is an excellent example of    co-operation between older peoples’ groups and arts organisations working    together at local and national level.

During the course of her speech, Minister Brady praised the dedication    of all those who have worked so hard and tirelessly to make the Bealtaine    Festival the success it has become.

Minister Brady referred to some of the significant steps taken in    recent years to improve the position of older persons, including “the    introduction of the registration and inspection regime of residential care    for older people in July of this year; the recent introduction of the    Nursing Homes Support Scheme (A Fair Deal) and significant range of    community based care services such as Home Care Packages, Home Helps,    Meals-on-Wheels and Day/Respite Care now being provided to older people.”

Minister Brady also said that in excess of 180 responses had been    received, following her June 2009 invitation for submissions on the    National Positive Ageing Strategy. She said that she was delighted with    the quality of the submissions, including the one received from Age and    Opportunity, and that the Strategy was currently being progressed by the    Department of Health and Children.