Programme Launch: Marginalised Ageing and Inclusive Systems Symposium Series

Programme Launch: Marginalised Ageing and Inclusive Systems Symposium Series

7 December 2020

Organised by: IGS in partnership with the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia


Changing Horizons in Gerontology - United in Solidarity with Older People

Programme Launch

Symposium Series: Marginalised Ageing and Inclusive Systems

This series of online meetings will run from December 2020 until April 2021

First meeting: Monday, December 7th 2020.  15.00-16.30 (Ireland)

Keynote Address by Prof Liat Ayalon   

Ageism, Language and Policy

RCPI CPD approval pending          #IGSICSG

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Marginalised Ageing and Inclusive Systems During COVID-19

Informing new directions in public policy through research with diverse and vulnerable older adult groups

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the marginalities of ageing experiences for many groups of older adults. It has also demonstrated the pervasiveness of inequalities for these groups and the absence of their voice across social and economic, civic and health spheres. These challenges to inclusivity, however, are longstanding – despite being more acute in form and impact since the onset of the pandemic. Arguably, they emerge from different degrees of: our collective complacency; deficiencies in our support systems; and how we view and position ageing and older people within our policies, practices and communities. But how can we distil learning from this recent unsettling and uncertain period, when, thus far, the perspective of marginalised older adults have not been sufficiently captured within research published on and around the COVID-19 crisis? Without these perspectives, our criteria for policy development, resource allocation and, ultimately, inclusive societies, are always likely to be skewed and unequal.

In collaboration with the Irish Gerontological Society (IGS), the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) and the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia (CESRD), at NUI Galway, will begin to address this deficit in the four-seminar Marginalised Ageing and Inclusive Systems online series.

As a part of the IGS 2020/2021 scientific programme, this series will draw on ICSG and CESRD research conducted with diverse and vulnerable older people during and around the COVID-19 pandemic, and will critically assess current gaps, and future opportunities.

The series incorporates the voices and views of such groups as precarious older workers, informal carers, people living with dementia, older members of the Traveller and homeless communities, and older adults who have experienced isolation and age discrimination.

It will also present the perspectives of key stakeholders and international research experts in response to this research, as well as showcasing the work of early-career researchers on social and economic aspects of ageing.


Prof Rose Anne Kenny, President of IGS.   

Prof Kieran Walsh, Director of Irish Centre for Social Gerontology


Welcome and Introduction     Prof Rose Anne Kenny, President of the Irish Gerontological Society

Programme Launch     Prof Kieran Walsh, Director of Irish Centre for Social Gerontology

Keynote Address

Ageism, Language and Policy

Prof Liat Ayalon, Deputy Directory, Chair of the Retraining Master Degree Program Louis and 
Gabi Weisfeld School of Social Work Bar Ilan University, Israel

The focus of this talk will be on ageism and intergenerational tension largely intensified due to the pandemic. During this session, the audience will hear about public discourse and national and international policy measures that have resulted in discrimination, prejudice and stereotypes towards older people because of their age. Theoretical explanations for the heightened levels of ageism during the COVID-19 outbreak will be discussed and possible ways to address this social crisis will be offered.

Panel Discussion with Q & A


Professor Liat Ayalon is a clinical psychologist and a Professor in the School of Social Work at Bar Ilan University Israel. For the past decade, her research has focused on the topic of ageism. She has served as the chair of a COST Action on ageism (IS1402) and is currently the coordinator of a Marie Curie international PhD program on the topic of ageism ( She has been consulting national and international policy organizations on the topic.  

Valerie Cox is a journalist, broadcaster and author of five books including Searching: the Story of Ireland’s Missing People, The Family Law Courts and Growing Up with Ireland, the stories of 26 nonogenarians. She holds an MSc in End of Life Ethics and contested the 2020 General Election as an Independent to highlight ageism in Ireland.

Professor Rose Anne Kenny holds the Chair of Medical Gerontology and is Head of the academic department of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin. Previously Professor of Cardiovascular Research and head of geriatric medicine at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Rose Anne is now director of Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) at St. James’s Hospital Dublin. She is the founding Principal Investigator of Ireland’s largest adult population study on the experience of ageing in Ireland – for The Irish LongituDinal study on Ageing  (TILDA), now in its 12th year of data collection.

Prof Kenny has published over 600 scientific publications to date, including 440 research articles, 52 reviews, 4 textbooks and 57 book chapters. She is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (M.R.I.A); Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (F.R.C.P.E.): London (F.R.C.P.), Ireland (F.R.C.P.I.); Fellow of Trinity College Dublin (F.T.C.D); Fellow if the European Society of Cardiology (F.E.S.C). She has over 50 medal awards and keynotes, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, WCFP, Kuala Lumpur 2019; Health Hero, The Irish Times, 2018; and Trinity Innovation Award, 2017.

Eamon O’Shea is Professor of Economics at the National University of Ireland Galway and Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia.  He is a Health Research Board (HRB) Research Leader in dementia in Ireland.

Amanda Phelan is a Professor in Ageing and Community Nursing in the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. Amanda research interests and publications are in the areas of safeguarding vulnerable populations, particularly related to older people, older person care, missed care, public health and community nursing. 

Kieran Walsh is Professor of Ageing & Public Policy in the Discipline of Economics, and Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at the National University of Ireland Galway. He has served as Chair of the European COST Action CA15122 on 'Reducing Old-Age Social Exclusion - Collaborations in research and policy' - ROSEnet. His research focuses on social exclusion in later life, critical transitions in older age, and the mediating role of place and community in processes of exclusion.

Recording of this event

00:25         Welcome by Prof Rose Anne Kenny

02:27          Keynote address by Prof Liat Ayalon

38:47          Panel discussion with Q & A