Dublin: RTE TV Soap – Shines Glimmer Of Light On Elder Abuse

28 Mar

AN older people’s organisation has welcomed the highlighting of elder abuse in TV soap Ros na Rún, which comes to a head this week when the teen tormenter of one of the programme’s favourite characters is arrested.

The story, running for the past few weeks saw Cóilín, aged in his 80s and living alone, suffering physical and mental abuse from 18-year-old Katy.

She began bullying and intimidating him when he mistakenly accused her of short-changing him in the shop where she worked.

Over recent weeks, viewers of the TG4 show have seen her progress from demeaning behaviour to physical abuse.

At one point, he hit his head after she pushed him into a door frame when he was about to tell her father, John Joe Daly, about what had been happening.

More recently, the younger character, played by Bridín Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, has used her home shopping access to get into Cóilín’s house and demand money from him or face physical force.

The man, played by Tom Sailí Ó Flatharta since the show first aired 14 years ago, has withdrawn into himself, making excuses not to leave his house because of the abuse.

But in tomorrow night’s episode, things reach a dramatic climax when Cóilín decides to tell Katy’s father about what has been happening and asks him to call round to the house.

John Joe arrives just as Katy is about to throw a vase at Cóilín. When she accuses her victim of touching her inappropriately, her father knows better as he is aware of similar, unfounded allegations she had made against her stepfather.

The drama ends with Katy’s arrest and the abuse finally stopping.

Age Action said the storyline is welcome as it shines a light on a hidden form of abuse which has been experienced by an estimated 18,000 older people in Ireland.

“For those who suffer silently, this is real life, not fiction. It is important that older people are aware that the Health Service Executive operates a dedicated support service to help those experiencing elder abuse,” said Age Action head of advocacy Eamon Timmins.

Ros na Rún series producer Hugh Farley said that, while Cóilín is saved just in time from serious physical harm, not all elderly people have friends or family looking out for them.

“It’s important that viewers are more aware of the elderly people living alone in their communities,” he said.

* The HSE advises anyone who is a victim of elder abuse or who suspects somebody is a victim to contact its elder abuse service through their GP, public health nurse, local health centre or local senior case workers listed on its website, or to contact gardaí. Age Action can be contacted on 1850 79 79 79 or info@ageaction.ie




www.ageaction.ie & www.garda.ie & www.hse.ie


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