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Ireland—Public Policy

by Jean McCarthy

August 2010—Despite the unprecedented boom of the 'Celtic Tiger’ in the 1990s and early 2000s, agism is still widespread in Irish society. In 2008, 26% of discrimination cases under the Irish Employment Equality Acts were on the grounds of age, constituting the largest category of complaints.

In response to the negative experiences of older people to systems and institutional behaviors posing barriers to their participation in a number of spheres, the Irish Equality Authority's (2010) report Implementing Equality for Older People has put forward an equality agenda, outlining nine principles that underlie a strategy of positive aging in Ireland:

  • Equality with due regard to difference
  • Equality with due regard to diversity
  • Full legal equality
  • Equality of opportunity, of participation, and of outcome
  • Right and capacity to participate
  • Integration of policies and services
  • Intergenerational solidarity
  • Mainstreaming and age proofing
  • Involvement of all sectors of society

Currently, the development of a National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS) is underway in Ireland. The rationale for the NPAS is to provide a coherent framework to guide policy-making, planning, resource allocation, and facilitate public input into the policy process.

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