How some older people in Dublin living on the poverty line make do with welfare payments.

A Home Assistance payment can be collected from the Dublin Health Authority dispensary on South Earl Street by those who pass an investigation into their means.

Elderly residents in the nearby Oliver Bond Flats complex are all housed on the ground floor. Neighbours are kind and keep an eye on them. Whether people are living in flats or houses, it is difficult for them to live on the available funds.

Julia Dowling had polio as a child and lives in a house that used to belong to her mother. She manages to live on Disability Allowance and Home Assistance which amounts to four pounds and 14 shillings a week.

It isn't easy I can assure you.

She has free turf delivered weekly but this only lasts for a few days so she also has to buy coal. Once her rent, gas, heat, light and insurance are paid she is left with eight shillings a day for food, clothes and any other needs.

Some older people who wish to remain independent can live in chalets situated in the west of Dublin. Matt Balfe is 64 years old and has not worked for 40 years. He receives allowances of five pounds and 10 shillings a week and is content with his living arrangements.

I manage the same as I always managed.

When asked what happens to him when he dies he replies,

You just go into a hole and that's all over, you’re buried.

This episode of 'Féach' was broadcast on 2 March 1970. The reporter is Eamonn Ó Muirí.