The Minister of State with responsibility for Older People, Maire Hoctor, has said she is determined to prioritise the further development and expansion of sheltered housing throughout Ireland.

Speaking at the Age Action AGM in Dublin, Mary Hoctor said, however, that the cornerstone of Government policy remains care in the community, with the overall aim being to support older people in dignity to live in their own homes.

She said the older population in Ireland has made an invaluable contribution to all aspects of Irish life, and that participation in all aspects of society is a central component of positive ageing.

Ms Hoctor also pointed out that in the last two years the Government has allocated over €400m in additional funding for services for older people.

It was her first major public address since assuming the responsibilities of the junior ministry, which crosses three Government departments; Health, Social & Family Affairs, and Environment.