PRODUCT CODE: 9781999726508

Alone: the First 40 Years

by Alone
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It was 1977 and the bodies of three older people lay undiscovered in their homes in Dublin for several weeks. A young fireman, Willie Bermingham, who retrieved one of the bodies, decided to bring some humanity to the situation. He gave up a packet of cigarettes a day and spent the money printing posters. That’s how simple it was – ALONE was born.

Willie died tragically young in 1990, but ALONE continued and, forty years later, we’re still tackling loneliness, isolation and homelessness among older people. Despite the challenges, there have been huge achievements too: The ‘Pauper’s grave’ is a thing of the past, two housing complexes have been built, ALONE continues to campaign to keep older people in their own homes and we have befriended and supported thousands of older people. The years have brought new challenges and, as Dublin Fire Brigade’s Chief Fire Officer, Patrick Fleming says, ALONE is as important now as it was in 1977.

This book tells the story of the early years, the Bermingham family’s selfless dedication, the people who followed, the new challenges, and the issues we face today. It is also a memory of the poverty, isolation and horrific conditions endured by many Dubliners only forty years ago.