Published on 03 October 2011 11:30 AM
First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson, MLA and the Minister exercising the functions of the deputy First Minister John O’Dowd, MLA have announced the appointment of Claire Keatinge as Northern Ireland’s first Commissioner for Older People.
Ms Keatinge, who is a former Director of the Alzheimer’s Society in Northern Ireland, will take up her appointment on 14 November 2011.
In announcing the appointment the First Minister said: “The appointment of a Commissioner for Older People is a groundbreaking development and will be widely welcomed. This appointment fulfils our Programme for Government commitment to 'deliver a strong independent voice for older people'.
“With the exception of Wales, nowhere else in Europe has a Commissioner of this type. As Commissioner, Claire will play a key role in challenging discrimination against older people, promoting positive attitudes towards older people and encouraging their participation in public life. I wish her every success in the post.”
The acting deputy First Minister said: “This is a great day for our older citizens who now have a strong voice to champion causes which affect their everyday lives. The creation of this post is another example of a local Assembly responding to the needs of local people.
“I congratulate Claire on her appointment. She will be a dedicated focal point for all our older citizens and will have the statutory power and authority to challenge and take action on their behalf.”