Bannview resident meets First Minister

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Irene Grattan, 84-year-old resident of Amore Care’s Bannview House, said she was ‘thrilled’ to meet Northern Ireland’s First Minister, Peter Robinson, at a local event and to talk to local politicians about her days as a registered nurse.

Upper Bann MP David Simpson had sent a special invitation to the management and residents of the care home.

Irene, who has been resident at Bannview for three months, was asked whether she would like to join DUP leader Mr Robinson, Mr Simpson and dignitaries at the event in Banbridge, by John Rafferty, Bannview Care Home’s manager.

“It is a very good way for people at Bannview to feel they are part of the community,” said John Rafferty.

“They can feel they still have their finger on the pulse of what is going on.

“They have a vote. Their views should be heard.

“Yes, Irene is in residential care now but life in the community doesn’t stop for any of our residents.

“She enjoyed every minute of the occasion.

“Older people should be made to feel important, listened to and respected.

‘One of the measures of a civilised society is how we treat our elderly citizens’.”

Irene said: “I didn’t know what to expect but I said ‘yes’ and it was very good.

“I follow the news, and it was very interesting to meet these people. I enjoyed it.”

The grandmother-of-two said: “So many people were buzzing around and it was all very interesting.”

Others attending the event, in the town’s Old Town Hall, included Arlene Foster, Minister of Enterprise, Trade, and Investment and Nigel Dodds, deputy leader of the DUP.

Mr Rafferty said: “A fabulous meal was laid on for all guests and Irene was made to feel the special and the centre of attention.”