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Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn, meeting at the COLLAGE launch today with Ann Twomey, representing Kinsale Community Response to Dementia, and Prof Denis O’Mullane, Emeritus Professor of Preventative Dentistry, University College Cork.

COLLAGE, Ireland’s 3 star Reference Site on Active and Healthy Ageing, was officially launched today by EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan Quinn. COLLAGE is a Collaboration on Ageing, and it is made up of members from University College Cork, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Louth County Council, Cork City Council, Trinity EngAGE (incorporating TILDA, the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing), the Health Service Executive, the Tyndall National Institute and Kinsale Community Response to Dementia.

Speakers at the launch included Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC; Prof Willie Molloy, who spoke about the CARTs and Let Me Decide initiatives and Rodd Bond of Dundalk Institute of Technology’s Netwell Centre, who spoke about the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative and the vision for COLLAGE going forward. Prof George Shorten, Dean of UCC’s School of Medicine, described what it means to be a Reference Site, and how COLLAGE and UCC’s ASSERT for Health Centre can contribute to active and healthy ageing in Ireland and beyond. Commissioner Geoghegan Quinn advised that we must consider ageing as an opportunity rather than a challenge, and “make the silver economy a gold mine” for our society.

Finally Declan Kidney, former Ireland rugby coach, who has recently been appointed as the Director of Sport and Physical Activity at UCC, spoke about the benefits of teamwork, and compared the individualisation of the training of elite athletes to personalised healthcare solutions as proposed by COLLAGE’s CARTs and Let Me Decide Initiatives.

The launch took place in the Brookfield Health Sciences Complex in UCC and was attended by Councillor Declan Breathnach, Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, and Councillor Michael O’Connell, representing the Lord Mayor of Cork.