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Chef Gary O'Hanlon with Active Retirement Ireland President Mai Quaid

Cookbook Launched to Support Active Retirement Ireland

Celebrity chef Gary O’Hanlon, Head Chef at Viewmount House in Longford, was in the opulent surrounds of the Slieve Russell Hotel last week to launch his debut cookbook.

Food for the Soul is a collection of Gary’s favourite home-cooked recipes. The cookbook is published by homecare company Bluebird Care which has 24 offices nationwide.

The cookbook will raise money for Active Retirement Ireland, which has 24,500 members across Ireland.

Food for the Soul could be described as ‘food for the soul, stories from the heart’ as Gary has a personal back-story for each recipe, putting his unique stamp on the book.

Gary says, “We have four sections in the cookbook – Starters, Snack, Mains and Desserts. We also have a ‘How-to-Guide’ for the more difficult recipes. I am really excited to partner with Bluebird Care on this project. They are a company that spends lots of time, energy and investment on projects to benefit other people and other organisations. I am pleased that my very first cookbook is one that is going to raise money for Active Retirement Associations across Ireland.”

Not only has Bluebird Care produced this cookbook for sale nationwide they have also commissioned a series of complementary online videos showing Gary cook each dish which are available to view on their website.

Director of Operations for Bluebird Care, Eddie O’Toole says, “We have long-held the view that good home cooking is very important to our customers who live in their own homes. We are in the homes of thousands of people every day right across Ireland and we understand the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. We asked Gary to write the cookbook for us and to devise recipes that had home-cooking at the heart of them. There are dishes for everyone – the beginner, intermediate or advanced home-cook.”

The cookbook was designed and edited by Media Box owned by Joanne Sweeney-Burke also from Gary’s homeland of Donegal. Joanne and Gary started off their careers together as dishwasher and potwasher at the award-winning Rosapenna Hotel in Downings so this collaboration is a special one for them.

The cookbooks are available for sale at €10 from Bluebird Care Offices nationwide or online here.

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Food for the Soul Launched at A Taste of Donegal Food Festival

Ramelton-born celebrity chef Gary O’Hanlon, Head Chef at Viewmount House in Longford was back home at the weekend to launch his debut cookbook.

Food for the Soul is a collection of Gary’s favourite home-cooked recipes. The cookbook is published by homecare company Bluebird Care which has an office in Letterkenny and 23 others nationwide.

The cookbook will raise money for Active Retirement Ireland, which has 24,500 members across Ireland.

Food for the Soul could be described as ‘food for the soul, stories from the heart’ as Gary has a personal back-story for each recipe and putting his unique stamp on the book.

Speaking from the Taste of Donegal Food Festival this week Gary says, “We have four sections in the cookbook – Starters, Snack, Mains and Desserts. We also have a ‘How-to-Guide’ for the more difficult recipes. I am really excited to partner with Bluebird Care on this project. They are a company that spends lots of time, energy and investment on projects to benefit other people and other organisations. I am pleased that my very first cookbook is one that is going to raise money for Active Retirement Associations across Ireland.”

Not only has Bluebird Care produced this cookbook for sale nationwide they have also commissioned a series of complementary online videos showing Gary cook each dish which are available to view on their website.

Director of Bluebird Care in Donegal, Marty Kelly says, “We have long-held the view that good home cooking is very important to our customers who live in their own homes. We are in the homes of thousands of people every day right across Ireland and we understand the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. We asked Gary to write the cookbook for us and to devise recipes that had home-cooking at the heart of them. There are dishes for everyone – the beginner, intermediate or advanced home-cook.”

The cookbook was designed and edited by Media Box owned by Joanne Sweeney-Burke also from Donegal. Joanne and Gary started off their careers together as dishwasher and potwasher at the award-winning Rosapenna Hotel in Downings so this collaboration is a special one for them.

The cookbooks are available for sale at €10 from Bluebird Care Offices nationwide or online at bluebirdcare.ie.

Bluebird Care Partner with Active Retirement Ireland to Promote Healthy Eating

Chefs, restaurateurs and food bloggers are among those backing the nation’s largest community based older people’s charity in their efforts to get older people to think about their diets. Active Retirement Ireland (ARI), a national network of over 570 local older people’s clubs comprising more than 24,500 members, have today (19/06/14) launched a campaign to encourage older people to cook for themselves and to eat balanced meals.

Pictured at the launch of Active Retirement Ireland's ‪#‎EatHealthy‬ campaign are Michael Maher, Newcastle Rams Active Retirement; Gary O'Hanlon, TV chef and head chef of VM at Viewmount House, Georgina Campbell Restaurant of the Year 2014; Dave Bruton of Bluebird Care; Garrett Fitzgerald, head chef at Brother Hubbard and competition judge; and Maureen Kavanagh, CEO. Photo by Conor O'Mearain

Pictured at the launch of Active Retirement Ireland’s ‪#‎EatHealthy‬ campaign are Michael Maher, Newcastle Rams Active Retirement; Gary O’Hanlon, TV chef and head chef of VM at Viewmount House, Georgina Campbell Restaurant of the Year 2014; Dave Bruton of Bluebird Care; Garrett Fitzgerald, head chef at Brother Hubbard and competition judge; and Maureen Kavanagh, CEO. Photo by Conor O’Mearain

Backed by Bluebird Care, the campaign is fronted by TV chef Gary O’Hanlon, who won the Georgina Campbell Restaurant of the Year award for 2014, and is supported by Garrett Fitzgerald of Brother Hubbard café in Dublin and food blogger Nollaig Bourke of Fascination Food.

Peter Kavanagh of ARI said, “Working with Healthy Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine over the last few years, we have seen that for many older people, old age can be a time when they pay less attention to what they’re eating.”

The problem can be made worse, said Kavanagh, by personal history. “Many older people would have grown up eating balanced diets without even realising it. Now, in an age when processed food is so readily available, many older people are taking the easy option and their diets are suffering.”

According to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, three-quarters of Irish older people are overweight or obese. This is a statistic that worries ARI. “With so many older people overweight or obese, it’s incredibly important that we encourage older people to cook healthy and nutritious meals for themselves,” said Kavanagh, “Above all, we want people to enjoy their food.”

Recipe Competition for ARI Members

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“Recycled Teenagers” in Kerry Debate Growing Old in Ireland

80 people joined Broadcaster George Hook in The Malton Hotel, Killarney to debate growing old in Ireland. With our population rising and figures projecting 800,000 people over the age of 65 by 2021, Bluebird Care hosted an event to discuss planning for an ageing population.

Photos by Don McMonagle

View all photos from the event here

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

 

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The crowd at An EngAGEment with Bluebird Care in The Malton Hotel Killarney

The main issues debated were community policing with Sgt. Jim Foley and Diarmuid Cronin of Muintir Na Tire; Social engagement and active ageing with Peter Kavanagh, Active Retirement Ireland and Philip O’Reilly, Respond Housing; and the impact of austerity on older people by Eamon Timmins of Age Action and Susie Hall from the Alliance of Retired Public Servants.

Some of the key issues raised were:

  • Middle class families are being hurt by austerity and are facing homelessness and are leaning on elderly parents for financial, childcare and even housing supports according to Philip O’Reilly of Respond Housing.
  • When you turn 65 your input into society should not end – age is merely a number and social interaction is vital after retirement. Studies show that you are 4-7 times more likely to have a stroke or a heart attack in the first year after retirement so social interaction and activity is vital. Studies have also shown that minding your mental health and keeping your brain active can reduce incidences of dementia according to Peter Kavanagh of Active Retirement Ireland.
  • Age Action reported that the Government are considering altering the Free Travel Scheme for over 65’s in this year’s budget. Age Action are lobbying Government on this trying to prevent any negative changes.
  • Susie Hall of the Alliance of Retired Public Servants said the Government have hit the most vulnerable in society with their austerity measures. Older people should not have to suffer as they have spent a lifetime paying taxes and giving service to the state.
  • Diarmuid Cronin of Muintir na Tire said older people should look at all risks relating to home security. He also encouraged them to consider getting a social alarm that is monitored 24/7/365.
  • Sgt. Jim Foley spoke about simple ways to protect your home like securing windows and doors, cutting overhanging trees and hedging and lighting up your house and outdoors to prevent intruders.
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Eamon Timmins, Age Action & Susie Hall, Retired Public Servants Association

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Diarmuid Cronin, Muintir na Tire and Sgt Jim Foley, Crime Prevention Officer discuss community policing and home security with George Hook

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Philip O’Reilly, Respond Housing and Peter Kavanagh Active Retirement Ireland discuss social inclusion, active ageing and housing with George Hook

One audience member, 93 year old Bernie McMonagle declared, “In Kerry we don’t like to be referred to as senior citizens, we rather ‘recycled teenagers.’ This set the positive tone for the evening which will feature in an online video shared on bluebirdcare.ie.

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Gerard Mannix and Bernie McMonagle with George Hook