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MEP encourages marginalised groups to help shape EU anti-discrimination strategy

7 February, 2008

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has encouraged all groups in society that have experienced discrimination to participate in shaping EU anti discrimination strategy and future legislation.

The MEP made her comments after visiting Newry and Mourne Senior Citizens Consortium based in Ballybot House in Newry City, where she outlined ongoing work at EU level with a view to preventing and combating discrimination outside the labour market based on gender, religion, belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Ms de Brún said:

"It is essential that we continue to raise awareness on the right to equality and non-discrimination and the problem of multiple discrimination. These issues in particular effect many of our older people. As a society we must ensure older people are not excluded, disadvantaged or left vulnerable in anyway.

"Older people have made a lifetime contribution to our society, through their work, their taxes and voluntary work in their communities. Unfortunately the standard of living of many of our older people does not meet their needs or reflect the contribution they make."

Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady who is his Party's spokesperson on older people accompanied the MEP on her visit to the local Senior Citizens Consortium.

Commenting on the discussions that took place the Sinn Féin MLA added:

"We all need to support older people in realising their vital role in our communities. A number of issues such as low income, access to transport, health and housing, need to be addressed. Older people should be consulted in decision making at all levels of government."

Both elected representatives concluded by praising the work of the Senior Citizens Consortium.

"The Consortium here in Newry and Mourne has played a leading role in highlighting the need to properly value and recognise the contribution of older people to our society as a whole, and in challenging our perceptions of older people and our attitudes to the issues affecting them." ENDS

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