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IHREC funds to examine whether cocooning of over-70s was ‘ageist’
91-year-old Francis Farrell, in Dublin’s Liberties during April’s lockdown, cocooning and chatting to her daughter Pauline Corrigan while maintaining social distancing Pic: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

28 Oct 2020 / ireland Print

IHREC funds to examine if over-70s cocooning ‘ageist’

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) will fund a project to examine whether the policy of cocooning those aged 70-plus during lockdown was ageist.

Through a series of regional assemblies and a national assembly, older people will explore whether their human rights have been compromised by the national response to COVID-19.

IHREC says in its grant-awards statement for the coming year that the assemblies will also develop recommendations for future policy-making regarding older people in a pandemic.

Digital exclusion

A second Age Action project will examine whether digital exclusion among older people is a barrier to accessing justice.

The project, through a series of participatory dialogues with older people and people working in public bodies, will examine the extent to which digital exclusion experienced by older people impacts their capacity to realise their rights in this context as mandated in the public sector equality and human rights duty.

The participants will then make recommendations for changes that will enable the participation of older people in public policy design and implementation.

Palliative care and COVID-19

And funding for the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) aims to give a voice to nursing home residents, their families and care workers in relation to their experience and expectations of palliative care in light of COVID-19.

Partner organisations include the University of Limerick, the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA), the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Decision Support Service, Nursing Homes Ireland, the Irish Hospice Foundation, the age-related healthcare Department at Tallaght Hospital and Medicine for the Elderly at St Vincent’s Hospital. And a remote-access-to-justice project will also be funded.

Vulnerable people

The South Leinster Citizen’s Information Network will run three workshops over two regions and eleven service areas to build capacity to support vulnerable people to access justice remotely, as a consequence of the working arrangements put in place as a result of COVID 19.

The project will be run in co-operation with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), the Labour Court, the Social Welfare Appeals Office and the Residential Tenancy Board (RTB).

The theme of the Human Rights and Equality Scheme 2020-21 is “empowering rights-holders who face the greatest barriers to justice to access their rights”.


The grants scheme supports civil society organisations addressing poverty and social exclusion or communities of interest protected under nine equality grounds, including groups led by people with disabilities and ethnic minorities.

A total of 42 organisations have been awarded a total of €500,000.


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