“While resources are tight, we all have a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable citizens from cuts which will cause harm and even death. We are urging the public to show their concern by signing the petition,” Timmins said.
Age Action used the launch of its petition to reveal new research on the impact of cold weather on older people in Ireland.
It shows that during the winter of 2006-‘07 (the most recent figures available), there were 1,281 excess winter deaths, meaning the number of deaths in the four winter months as opposed to the average figures across the other eight months of the year. Of these, the vast majority were older people, with 1,216 of them aged over 65.
“These are older people who are dying of cardiovascular and respiratory illness -- cold-related conditions,” Timmins said. “They are dying because they cannot afford to heat their homes to a safe level.”
The new research highlights the scale of the silent suffering being experienced by older people. In response to a questionnaire earlier this year, almost a quarter of respondents (24%) said their homes were “too cold” and more than half (51%) went without other necessities to pay their fuel bills.
Driven to Drink
THE owner of a rural pub near Buttevant has joined forces with the Avondhu Blackwater Partnership in a scheme intended to literally drive people to drink.
A new rural night link bus service was launched last weekend to the Crossroads Bar in Bragger, offering locals the chance to enjoy a few pints in their local without having to worry about how they will get back homes again afterwards.
Publican John Buckley, who purchased and reopened the Crossroads in 2007, said that strict drink driving laws have hit his trade hard over recent years.
"After a promising two years we, like all rural pubs, found this becoming increasing difficult with both the economic downturn and stricter drunk driving laws leading to a decline in trade," he said.
"Now the new lower limits mean that people who might have had two drinks before are now only having one. That is a disaster for them as well as us. Like other rural pubs we are only hanging on by our fingertips.”
With this in mind Buckley approached Damien Tobin of the Avondhu Partnership with a view to seeking information on any rural transport initiatives that might help his situation.
"We had reached a crossroads with the business but were determined to keep it open to maintain a sanctuary of conversation, fun and local enterprise in the current climate of doom and gloom," Buckley added.
Tobin said that John's approach was timely as they recognized the problems faced by rural publicans and country dwellers that would be left with no social outlet if pubs such as the Crossroads were forced to close their doors.
The cost will be €5 return or €3 one-way, with the Crossroads throwing in a complimentary drink for all users during the month of November.
A WOMAN is alleged to have punched a driver after she came out of her house to see what was happening when the motorist beeped her horn at a child who was jay-walking across the road.
Annette Roberts, 39, is alleged to have knocked out the victim's two teeth and left her with a bloody mouth during the roadside assault.
The defendant, of Sundale Lawn in Tallaght, appeared before Tallaght District Court charged with seriously assaulting another woman. The alleged incident took place at Swiftbrook Avenue in Tallaght on September 28 of last year.
Garda (police officer) Sergeant Carmel Henry alleged the victim was driving onto Swiftbrook Avenue around 2:45 p.m. when she beeped her horn at a young child crossing the road. It is alleged a teenager then approached her and started verbally abusing her.
Henry claimed the woman got out of her car and the teen punched her.
It is alleged Roberts then came on the scene and she punched the victim a number of times.
The sergeant claimed the victim fell to the ground and lost consciousness. She also lost two teeth.
Judge James McDonnell adjourned the case to a date in January for the service of the book of evidence.
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