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Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.

Scene 1: 2000, A landlord visits a home in Lexilip, Co Kildare, to enquire about the rent and he finds the three middle aged sisters- Ruth, Catherine and Josephine Feeney and their elderly aunt, Frances Mulrooney dead. All four of them had given up eating and wanted to die together. //The neighbors were not even aware that somebody had been living in the house.

Scene 2: August 2003, Agnes Lyons, 70, had been lying dead for up to a year in the home that she had been sharing with her brother Sonny (74 yrs) and her sister Mary Ellen (65 yrs). “It’s horrific that something like this could happen in this day and age and no one was aware of it, “said Harry Sheill of Alone, a organization involved in care of the elderly.

Scene 3: January 2006, Evelyn Joel, 58, suffering from multiple sclerosis dies after being admitted to Wexford General hospital. This thin, comatose patient was barely visible under her bed sheets. She is said to have been lying in excrement and some sources even claim that there were maggots on her malnourished, dehydrated body. Her daughter Eleanor Joel and John Coston, Joel’s boyfriend are being investigated by the Health Service Executive for the negligence.

Although instances such as these continue to bring in mixed feelings of sympathy and empathy from the public, by and large, nothing much has changed in all these years. It only brings into focus the lacunae in elderly care, a subject often neglected in the social scenario. An investigation has been ordered by the Health Service Executive to probe into the cause of her death.

If not for the initiative of Evelyn’s friend, a distressed, angry middle-aged woman, determined to bring the issue to the spotlight, none of us would be aware of such an incident. She rocked into the offices of The Echo, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford to ensure provision of justice to her friend’s soul. She was deeply touched when she saw her friend in the
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