Agency and Ageing in Place in Rural Ireland

Project Aims

This project involved a collaboration with Age Action to explore the housing preferences of older people in rural Ireland and identify how to build capacity in rural communities to meet these preferences.

Age-friendly initiatives and sheltered housing primarily concentrate on urban areas, whereas it is far less understood how best to respond to the unique housing needs of dispersed ageing rural dwellers. A participatory survey and focus groups with Age Action identified the views of older rural dwellers about ageing in place and the enablers and barriers they face, which will inform the role of civic, voluntary and state organisations in facilitating ageing in place. 

The project was supported by an inter-sectoral advisory group, including Age Action, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, HSE and academics from Social Policy, Social Work and Applied Psychology in UCC.

Project Outputs
  • O’Sullivan, S., Buckley, M., Desmond, E., Bantry-White, E., & Cassarino, M. (2022) Agency and Ageing in Place in Rural Ireland  University College Cork and Age Action. 
  • Report launch, 6 April 2022, including opening comments from Celine Clarke (Age Action) followed by presentations from Dr Siobhan O'Sullivan (Project PI), Annie Curbelo Lang (Participatory Research Group & Research Advisory Group), Gabrielle O'Keeffe (HSE) and Inspector Miriam McGuire (Garda Bureau of Community Engagement). The event was chaired by Dr Margaret Buckley. A recording of this event is available here
  • O’Sullivan, S. (2022) ‘IFA Global Cafe: In Conversation with Dr Siobhan O’Sullivan on "Ageing in Place in Rural Ireland"’, The International Federation on Ageing Global Café Series, 21st  January, 2022. Recording available here
  • O'Sullivan, S., Clarke, C., Buckley, M. and Desmond, E. (2021) ‘The views of older people living in rural areas in Ireland about ageing in place’, 15th Global Conference on Ageing, Toronto, Canada. 11 November (online), https://www.ifa2021.ngo/.
  • O’Sullivan, S., Buckley, M., Desmond, E., Lang, A.C., Burke, T., and Clarke, C. (2021) ‘Involving Older People in Community Research’, UCC Community Week (online), 13 October 2021. Available on https://www.ucc.ie/en/civic/open/communityweek/watchback/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-2Z1EA8ZCI&t=2238s
  • O'Sullivan, S. and Buckley, M. (2021) ‘Rural Ageing in Place’ [Invited Speaker]. Research network event: What is participatory research in the context of older people? Oxford Brookes University, UK (online), 4 February. https://www.brookes.ac.uk/business/about/news/older-people-in-research--interdisciplinary-participatory-co-research-and-the-role-of-digital-technologies/
Project Funding and Dates:

This project is funded by Irish Research Council's New Foundations Programme and runs from May 2020 - December 2021.


Dr Siobhan O'Sullivan (PI), ISS21 & School of Applied Social Studies, email: siobhan.osull@ucc.ie  





Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30