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.