ALONE Bucket Listers Get Inked To Fight Ageism

ALONE, who support older people to age at home, partnered with The Ink Factory to provide five ALONE older people who use ALONE services with tattoos today.  As part of the Bucket Listers campaign, participants are fighting the stigma surrounding ageing while raising awareness and funds for ALONE’s work.


The campaign was sparked by The Ink Factory, a Dublin based tattoo parlor which prides itself on helping people of all ages and walks of life express themselves in their own way. Conscious of assumptions towards older people, The Ink Factory got in touch with ALONE with the goal to dismantle these perceptions.

ALONE Bucket Listers Get Inked To Fight Ageism

Tom McArdle gets inked for ALONE

ALONE staff approached older people who use ALONE services to gauge interest and were met with great enthusiasm for the project. The online campaign saw eachBucket Lister discuss their experiences with ALONE and hopes for their new tattoos through separate videos shared each week in the lead up to today. Supporting older people to age at home, ALONE’s wide range of services include a befriending service, coordination of support, technology, and housing, financial, medical and other supports.


Dolores Waller, aged 65, and Lily Barnacle, aged 74, are both involved in the ALONE Ladies Choir in Dundalk and each decided on tattoos to honour loved ones. As Lily struggled to maintain healthy living conditions in her home, ALONE assisted her with applications for a Housing Application Grant and the Housing Aid for Older People Grant, from Louth County Council and the SEAI. For the first time in years, Lily can now look forward to a warm, dry winter.


Discussing her decision to get a tattoo, Doloras said, “My Godchild died in sad circumstances, by suicide, and this tattoo is going to remind me of Michelle, it’ll keep her closer. I felt like she was more or less like my own daughter.”


Bucket Lister, Michael McCarthy, aged 68, applied for ALONE housing in 2016 when he struggled to keep up with costs after retirement. Michael explained what ALONE meant to him, “I’ve been with ALONE for the last 12 months. They’ve been very good to me over the year. When I signed up with them, I was losing my own home. It’s very important as you get older to have friends, and that’s what I like about ALONE.”


Rita Ashe, aged 65, faced difficulty in 2014 when she couldn’t afford to rent privately on her own. A tenant of ALONE Walk for over three years, Rita can now enjoy permanent, secure tenancy.


When Tom McArdle, aged 66, separated from his partner of 30 years, he found himself facing homelessness and reverted to alcoholism. After reaching out to ALONE, Tom was put forward for the charity’s housing with supports programme and become an ALONE tenant in September 2015.  Speaking on his experience, Tom said, “Sue from ALONE called me on the second week of September, I looked at this place where I live now, and I remember checking its two bedrooms and thinking: there is no way I am getting this, it’s so big! It actually saved my life, ALONE, even though they probably wouldn’t admit to it, they actually saved my life. I’m here, this is my home”.


100% of online donations to the Bucket Listers project will go to directly supporting ALONE’s work. Members of the public are invited to hear the stories of eachBucket Lister and donate to ‘The Bucket List Project’ on


The Ink Factory owner, Tom Lynch said, “Throughout this project, it’s been great to get to know ALONE and their work, as well as the Bucket Listers themselves as we’ve worked together to create their perfect tattoo. We love diversity and creatively at The Ink Factory and we’re delighted to get be a part of a project which supports empowerment among older people while also rising valuable funds and awareness for ALONE.”


Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We’re delighted to see the enthusiasm for this project across the board, from the older people, their families, volunteers and staff, we have all greatly enjoyed working with The Ink Factory on this project. It’s amazing to see the effort gone into today and the donations have been staggering. We’re asking everyone to check out the online videos on our brilliant Bucket Listers and are reminding the public that donations are open for the coming weeks.”


If you would like to sponsor an ALONE service-user’s tattoo, please visit:


An introduction to the Bucket Listers:

Dolores and Lily:

Michael McCarthy:

Tom McArdle:

Rita Ashe:

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or at The charity, which depends on donations from the public, has staff and volunteers ready to act on calls and requests for assistance.



About ALONE 

Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

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