In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. - Martin Luthor King, Jr.


On November 9, 2010, at the launch of The National Study of Elder Abuse and Neglect, carried out by the National Centre for the Protection of Older People, the Health Service Executive (HSE) and The University College Dublin, then Junior Health Minister Aine Brady called on anyone with concerns to report anxieties to a HSE social worker, a public health nurse, a GP, a member of the Garda, or in the case of financial abuse, a solicitor or bank official.

Ms Brady no doubt was sincere in her belief that this was effective advice; that raising concern to any of the above parties would be a way to begin to provide relief to a victim of Elder Abuse.

We agree that silence is not an option.

However, learning of the experience of others who to this day are seeking help for Elder Abuse victims in specific cases, and knowing what did not happen in Dolores' last year of life, we most strongly disagree that to merely “report anxieties” would be effective in any predictable way. In Dolores' case, much more was done than reporting concerns to the above parties, as will be seen.

Ethan's abuse of his mother accelerated during this timeframe


As presented in A Simple Plan, having witnessed Ethan's behaviour towards Dolores first hand, Saoirse begins to ring alarm bells and seek aid for Dolores anywhere it may be found. In the “Silence of Friends” we relate the responses of those who were told of the abuse Dolores was suffering; this alert was sent by letter, registered post, telephone, email, and in person to the various people and agencies whose aid Saoirse was trying to enlist to help Dolores.

Calling on her many years as a reporter, Saoirse also begins at this time to take copious notes of events. We are indebted to her for making these available.

[Editor's note: We seek information from anyone who is familiar with events during this December 2009 timeframe. Please visit our Contact and Submissions page. As always, alternative views are encouraged and welcomed.]

We will start with the response of the Irish police, An Garda Síochána .


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day UN Declaration of Human Rights European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity Towards a Society for All Ages