Brendan O’Carroll gives his backing to charity’s campaign

Pictured at the launch were Brendan O’Carroll and his wife Jenny Gibneywith Sean Moynihan, chief executive of ALONE (far right) and service users Sally Gorey, Betty Kinsella and Jim Birch. PHOTO: JASON CLARKE

COMEDIAN and actor Brendan O’Carroll and his wife and co-star Jenny Gibney are calling on the public to back a new campaign for ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home. 

‘Have a Laugh for Loneliness’ encourages people to host social events for family, friends and neighbours, to raise funds to support the charity’s services.

A major element of ALONE’s support is its befriending service. This pairs older people, who may be experiencing loneliness or isolation, with trained volunteers who can offer help with practical tasks and most importantly, offer friendship.

As part of the ‘Have a Laugh for Loneliness’ initiative, ALONE is encouraging members of the public to host social events and to have a laugh to raise funds for these crucial services while combating loneliness in their own community. 

Last week, the charity published its 2017 Annual Report which cited a 100 percent increase in the number of older people using its services since 2016. 

In comparison, ALONE’s donations increased by just 15 percent during this time.

Speaking at the launch, Finglas native Brendan O’Carroll said it was fantastic to be part of the campaign.  

“It’s awful to think that as many as 1 in 10 older people experience chronic loneliness,” said the Northside comedian and star of Mrs Brown’s Boys. “ALONE’s work to combat this is extremely valuable and the difference it makes in the lives of older people is powerful. 

“We’re hoping that by having a laugh for loneliness, the public will not only raise funds for ALONE but help to combat loneliness in their community.”

Chief executive of ALONE Seán Moynihan warned that loneliness can shorten a person’s life. 

“Thousands of older people across the country struggle with loneliness every day,” said Mr Moynihan.

“ALONE is delighted to have Brendan and Jenny on board to launch this campaign, which we hope will help us to support more of those people. 

“Receiving a regular call or visit from ALONE offering friendship and support is a simple thing which can make a huge difference to older people.

“Our volunteers are invaluable to ALONE’s Befriending work and we’re constantly looking to recruit and train more people in order to keep up with the calls we receive.”

Mr Moynihan added that through the campaign, they are hoping to raise vital funds for the service which saw its 1,000th volunteer trained this year. 

For more information on the ‘Have a Laugh for Loneliness’ campaign, visit

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