The Alliance of Age Sector NGOs – Active Retirement Ireland, Age Action, Age & Opportunity, ALONE, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, Third Age and the Irish Hospice Foundation – welcomes and supports the call by the Irish Hospice Foundation for Government to put in place a process of remembrance and reflection to recognise those who have died or have lost loved ones in recent months during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This call from the Alliance demonstrates that there is broad national support for a series of events to support the loved ones of those who have died and to mark a period of national mourning.
Speaking on behalf of the Alliance, Mairead Hayes, CEO of The Senior Citizens Parliament said, ‘the restrictions on nursing homes visits and funeral gatherings has added to the grief and loss people experienced. As a society we should take a moment to mourn those who have died and to show our support to their loved ones.’
The Alliance calls on the Government to support and engage with the Irish Hospice Foundation, families and other stakeholders, to mark what has been a period of great loss and sadness for many people.
Also on behalf of the Alliance Maureen Kavanagh, CEO of Active Retirement Ireland said, ‘COVID-19 has reminded us all how the death of an older family member, a granny or grandad, is a huge event for many generations in a family. Yet, we don’t talk about death and bereavement in a way that we can understand it, and prepare ourselves for it. It is time that Ireland held a national dialogue on death and bereavement, and how, as a country, we can support people who experience loss.’
The Alliance supports the work of the Irish Hospice Foundation who have campaigned for 35 years for a more informed approach to death and bereavement in Ireland. In particular, the Alliance believes that there should be broad political support for;
- A national series of mourning and remembrance events for all who have died since the pandemic started in order to express our collective connection with the bereaved and to honour, comfort and support;
- Reigniting a national conversation on dying, death and bereavement in Ireland, led by Government, to be followed by an oﬃcial process to make recommendations and put them into eﬀect.
Aine Brady CEO of Third Age stated, ‘We would hope that the Government will lead out and invite people from the worlds of politics, sport, trade unions, businesses, civil society organisations and people of all faiths and none, in a moment of remembrance of those who have died, and support to those bereaved.’