ACR launches new documentary

The Importance of Being Elderly is a new one-hour documentary from Athlone Community Radio that will tell the story of how we treat the elderly in our society.

Ireland’s population has been getting steadily older since the 1980s, so what services are available and what is needed to allow the older members of our society live safely in their own homes?

The programme, set to air on April 26 next at 5pm, will also hear from the people that support older people by visiting and recording them as they carry out their roles.

The ACR documentary also includes recordings from visits to services nationally and locally, and the voluntary organisations that represent the elderly in Ireland.

Anne Dempsey, Communications Manager with Third Age and Seniorline tells of the wonderful work her organisation is doing while Patricia Rickard Clarke, Chairperson of Safeguarding Ireland says “we are light years away from what is needed to support the elderly in our community.”

Meanwhile Damien O’ Neill, Manager of Local Link Longford /Westmeath based in Mullingar talks about their invaluable service. The team also joined Des Powell, an Advisor with Helplink South and the staff who answer the phones for elderly panic buttons in their offices in Athlone.

Deirdre Hunt of Athlone Community Radio, who researched and recorded the documentary said: “We recorded on location in St Kieran’s Community Centre with the Active Age Group as they attended bingo and talked about issues that affect them.

"We also joined the local Forget Me Not choir at rehearsals. She went on to say sadly elder abuse is an issue in our society and a very personal story was told by a lady who says her Mum died of elder abuse.

"It is the first time the story of elder abuse, what safeguards are in place in Ireland for our aging population and how the older members in society in Ireland are supported will be aired on radio," Deirdre explained.

The programme will air on Monday, April 26th at 5pm on Athlone Community Radio 88.4fm and will be repeated on Saturday, May 1st at 5pm.

You can also listen online on and the tunein app.

Athlone Community Radio would like to acknowledge the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland who made the production of this programme possible through the Sound and Vision Television License fee funding initiative.