At the Spring Chickens Older People’s Social Club on October 2nd, we were delighted to welcome the Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn, along with Micheal Beecher and Tony Phelan, Directors of Youghal Community Bus, to enter into conversation with members about the issues and challenges facing older people in Youghal today. We were also joined by members of CnD Women’s Group.
A number of issues were raised, and Mayor O’Flynn took notes, assuring members that he would look into these concerns, which included lack of access to the park at Tesco, rails on the Boardwalk, access to the community centre on North Main Street and the long-awaited Day Care Centre promised for Youghal some years ago.
Mayor O’Flynn confirmed that plans for a new Primary Care Centre, potentially at the St. Raphael’s site, are underway. Members expressed concern that a day centre, aimed at providing social support for older people, might not be part of these plans and that a medicalised model – while much-needed in Youghal – would not fulfil the need originally expressed and for which the original proposals and funding were made.
Tony and Michael gave a good overview of the Community Bus and what is needed to enable operation on every day of the week. A new EV bus has been bought and volunteer drivers are being looked for – a further purchase of a wheelchair-accessible bus are in the pipeline. Whilst Cork County Council funds the Community Bus, members asked the Mayor why this funding could not be increased to pay new drivers rather than relying on volunteers. All agreed that an increased service is vital to enable people to participate in Spring Chickens and other activities – at present they are unable to reach the town on certain days as they need transport.
Mayor O’Flynn said he would feed back to the group regarding all the issues raised and also highlighted the availability of housing adaptation grants which can be of great benefit to homeowners who are either elderly or have a disability. Application forms for this will be available at next week’s Spring Chickens.
A Municipal Council meeting on the same day prevented other Councillors attending this event although courteous apologies were received. We aim to host another event towards the end of the year and we look forward to welcoming our elected representatives on that occasion.
Tony Phelan (left) and Michael Beecher of Youghal Community Bus
Mayor O’Flynn addresses the Spring Chickens
Mayor O’Flynn was introduced to group members: left to right Ken, Tess & Mary; Mayor O’Flynn, Tony Phelan, Helen and Kathleen.