Nursing home residents to participate in Bealtaine celebrations

Thursday May 13, 2021

Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival, in partnership with Nursing Homes Ireland invites care homes and day care settings around Ireland to participate in the inaugural National Arts in Nursing Homes Day.

On Friday 21st May, nursing homes are invited to showcase the wonderful creative activity taking place in their nursing home or day care service either through planning an activity that takes place on that day or exhibiting work already made in a special way.

“We know that creative activity happens throughout the year and we are now encouraging nursing homes and day care settings across the country to celebrate this by scheduling a special creative activity on the 21st of May,” said Dr Tara Byrne, Arts Programme Manager and Bealtaine Festival Artistic Director, Age & Opportunity. “By focusing on one day, we hope to garner more public attention for this important work, which brings great health benefits and joy to people in these settings. Whether they would like to focus on one activity or pack the day with different workshops, performances and exhibitions, there are lots of enticing options for them choose from. We’re encouraging staff to canvas residents and see if there is something new they would like to try.”

Anne O’Loughlin Brown is a resident in Kilcroney Lodge at Saint Joseph’s Shankill and her husband, Roy, described the story of their courtship, explaining the importance of art in the couple’s lives.

“At our first lunch I was nervous and had a list of topics in my head to discuss with Anne, so as to charm her into another meeting,” said Roy. “I politely asked, whether she had been doing any art lately? She exclaimed, art!? Why I have an exhibition starting in Deansgrange Library next Monday.

“First thing the following Monday morning I hot footed it down to Deansgrange library and was given a catalogue as I arrived. I soon found Anne O’Loughlin’s name and pieces of art and also gleaned her address and phone number from the catalogue. I left Deansgrange Library with the most expensive Anne O’Loughlin original art piece under my arm.”

That piece of art is proudly displayed in Kilcroney Lodge, where Anne lives.

“Art has really been a very important part of our lives right from the start, as we enjoyed many exhibitions throughout our years together and Anne was constantly drawing or painting or doodling in her spare time,” Roy continued. “Today, Anne still enjoys her art. I am forever replenishing her stock of crayons and paints.  Even though she may only be colouring in and doodling now, I know in my heart, that when she picks up and holds a pencil it gives her the feeling that she is once again prepping for an Anne O’Loughlin Original.”

Tadhg Daly, Nursing Homes Ireland CEO adds: “Creative arts are integral within nursing homes in bringing great therapuetic benefit and pleasure to residents and enjoyment to them. We are delighted to participate in Bealtaine 2021 by celebrating the role of arts in our nursing homes. We consider it a particularly momentous year to acclaim their role within nursing homes, as they were integral to supporting residents during very difficult times the past year. We’re urging nursing homes across the country to embrace this opportunity which can present a happy celebration for nursing homes.”

For more information, a leaflet and poster for National Arts in Nursing Homes Day please visit or call  01 805 7713.


Notes to Editors:

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Age & Opportunity is the national organisation working to improve the quality of life of people aged 50 to 100+. Our aim is to inspire people aged 50+ to live a dynamic life in which they are more active, more visible, more creative and more connected. We work with communities and groups nationwide to provide a range of opportunities for older people who want to get more involved in arts and culture, sport and physical activity, civic engagement and personal development. Visit: