Mandatory retirement: Airing views on National Radio

I was recently invited to participate in a panel discussion on Mandatory Retirement on the Marian Finucane Show on RTE Radio 1. (For readers outside of Ireland, RTE Radio is the Radio arm of the Irish national public service broadcaster, Raidió Teilifís Éireann and the Marian Finucane show is one of Ireland’s highest rated weekend programs.)

On the panel with me to discuss personal impacts of mandatory retirement in Ireland were a former mechanic/fireman with the Fire Service in Sligo, Victor Martin who had to retire at age 55,  Pat Wallace, former Director of the National Museum of Ireland, who was compelled to take early retirement,  and myself who had to retire from the civil service at age 65.

Although shaking with nerves, it was a huge thrill for me to be on the Marian Finucane programme. I have been an ardent fan and follower for many years. Researcher Katriona McFadden and producer Ronan Lawlor were most reassuring and helpful, so huge thanks to them!

The discussion can be heard here on the RTE Player which is available worldwide, and begins just a few minutes in after a review of newspaper headlines.

I would like to add a special word of thanks to Kathleen Sharkey (nee Murphy) my school friend from 1961 to 1966 who accompanied me to the RTE Studios and helped calm my nerves. I was visiting her home in County Louth when the invitation came to participate in the programme.  Thank you Kathleen!

Age Action Ireland continues to advocate for a change to the mandatory retirement in Ireland.

10 Comments

Filed under Ireland, Living in Ireland, Older workers, Retirement Age, Seniors

10 responses to “Mandatory retirement: Airing views on National Radio

  1. You didn’t sound nervous, you were great.

  2. Ned

    Excellent programme
    Such a waste of hard earned experience.
    Best of luck in life.

  3. Wow. I’ve done an odd spot on Radio Jersey but national radio is a way different matter. Well done SV. As to the subject matter I’m very happy to say that Jersey have recently followed the UK in removing mandatory retirement.

    • It was an interesting experience Roy. Marian Finucane was very professional and was so very well briefed that we were at ease. Delighted that Jersey folk don’t have to deal with mandatory retirement any more. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Hi Angela. I have always considered that this matter will be solved by demographics. In the past, I think the general feeling was that it’s better for the oldies to make way for young Mary & Patrick to take safe civil service jobs, no offence intended. Now the 60’s babies boom generation are in their 50s so this matter will press on their mindset like never before – self-preservation is hugely motivational! I think it’s inevitable that change will come for this reason alone. The fact that full employment is not far off is also a bonus for proponents of a new retirement order.
    Best wishes.
    MB

    • Unfortunately it is real people with economic issues who are part of the demographic and it is real people with problems and issues who are bucking against this system. The theory of young Mary and Patrick getting jobs because ‘oldies’ make way for them has been rubbished by research statistics. Also as people now living longer young Mary and young Patrick will have a huge cohort if older people to support, so why not allow older people to work to support themselves, contribute their taxes to the exchequer and keep the economy buoyant and thus creating jobs for younger people? We have had ‘full employment’ in Ireland before during the so called ‘boom’ and nothing changed.
      The issue of mandatory retirement in bithe the private and Lublin sectors is all about CHOICE, being able to choose whether to work on or to retire. It’s an ageist thing that needs to be ostracised.
      Thanks for dropping by! Much appreciated!

  5. Aodán Ó Sé

    An interesting programme, but all three interviewees held public jobs having guaranteed pay-related pension on retirement. Two had shorter careers because of late entry or because firemen/army/garda have full pensions from age 55. Private sector workers earn a state pension (not pay-related) at 66, and must supplement that by investing in a private pension. Finally, many depend solely on the state pension (about €235 per week).

    • All of the above is correct and was pointed out in the programme which was about Mandatory Retirement which happens in both the private and public sector. Many people still in employment in private sector and facing mandatory retirement are fearful of speaking out about it. Thank you for dropping by!

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