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Carl Kinsella
Dementia

'Please consider us': management of new dementia café in Ringsend ask for support from Government

Banshees of Inisherin actress Sheila Flitton also spoke at the opening.

MINISTER OF STATE for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan was present at the opening of a café for those with dementia in Ringsend yesterday.

Officially launched on Tuesday at the Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre (RICC), the dementia café, as well as the centre’s new tranquility and sensory gardens, are aimed at “tackling the isolation faced by older people, particularly people with dementia and their carers/families.”

The RICC launched the venture in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland “to provide a much needed social outlet, not only for local residents with dementia, but also providing a social outlet for their relatives/carers, while facilitating access to information and support”.

Lorraine Barry, Services and Development Manager at the RICC said: “We want to provide a space within this community where you can walk in the door and say ‘I think I might have an issue with dementia.’ And they see a friendly face to talk to, a cup of tea, working in partnership with the ALS. We want to create that space.”

Barry also called on the Government to provide more support for local schemes such as these.

“If I had a message for the minister today, and for the public representatives, I would say look at what we’re doing in the community, look at the supports, the work that’s going on… Please consider us when you’re making decisions around where you’re putting funding,” Barry said.

“I know some of our guys are on schemes here, but if I said to come in 12 o’clock on Sunday, they’d do it. They give so much back. We’ve survived because we’re doing it on a shoestring, but we could always do with support.”

In her speech, Minister Madigan credited “the commitment and dedication and team effort” of the community centre staff. 

“Certainly I’ll be bringing the message back to Government of the incredible work done here, and working closely with Oireachtas colleagues and local councillors to see what we can do to support the endeavours that you have here on a daily basis,” Madigan said. 

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Geraldine Plunkett, an Irish actress known for her roles on Glenroe and Fair City, now serving as Dublin city’s first Age Friendly Ambassador, spoke to advocate for accessibility in public spaces, saying that “If something is age accessible, it’s accessible to everyone”.

Also speaking at the event was actress Sheila Flitton, who recently starred in The Banshees of Inisherin.

“It’s very sad but I learned quite a lot about it,” she said, speaking about her own late husband’s experience with dementia.

She went on to detail the positive effects that such a social outlet could have for someone suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

“You encourage them, stimulate them. You listen, and if they say they forget something, you leave and it you go to something like music.”

“I know now that tranquility is one of the most important things they could ever have and somebody, as they’re doing here, to talk to them, and understand them,” she said.

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