Lawless calls on Government to develop action plan on loneliness

Published on: 20 February 2024

Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North James Lawless, has called for meaningful engagement between Government and NGOs to develop an action plan on loneliness 
Ireland is ranked the loneliest country in Europe, according to a report released by the European Parliament last year. More than 20 per cent of respondents in Ireland reported feeling lonely, following data collected from more than 25,000 Europeans in 27 EU Member States.
The launch of the Alliance of Age Sector NGOs' latest report, "Taking Stock: Is Government Keeping its Commitment to Older People?, underscores the gravity of the situation.
Deputy James Lawless, who organized the event held at Leinster House, emphasised the critical need for government intervention, stating, "As our society ages, we must prioritise the implementation of support systems to ensure that everyone can age well with dignity and fulfilment.
"At the same time, it is essential to recognise that loneliness transcends traditional demographic boundaries, affecting individuals across rural and urban areas, as well as spanning generations. Despite its widespread impact, loneliness remains a taboo topic, often overlooked in public discourse.
"We must proactively seek solutions that foster human connection at its core. Both government leadership and local authorities must champion the development and implementation of comprehensive action plans to tackle loneliness. This includes the formulation of policies aimed at nurturing community bonds and promoting intergenerational connectivity.
"While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to alleviating loneliness, a range of measures can and should be explored to facilitate greater social engagement and alleviate the distress experienced by many. Through concerted efforts and collective action, we can cultivate a society where no one feels isolated or alone.''