'Never gets a day off, and has never given up': Cork mother named Carer of the Year

Her daughter Deirdre said her brothers reflect a mother’s love and that “they are a shining example of what true parenting entails for parents of children and adults with special needs.”
'Never gets a day off, and has never given up': Cork mother named Carer of the Year

Chrissie O’Donoghue from Lower Carrigadrohid cares for her two adult sons. Pictured: Cork Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Chrissie O’Donoghue (centre) with Cork Kerry Carer Supports Manager Peter Cox (left) and Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Derry Canty (right).

A MID-CORK mum has been named the Netwatch Cork Family Carer of the Year for years of dedication to caring her two sons.

Chrissie O’Donoghue from Lower Carrigadrohid cares for her two adult sons, who are 33 and 43 years old. She also raised four other children while fighting for essential services for her two sons who have special needs.

Her daughter Deirdre said her mother “never gets a day off, never complains, and has never given up.”

She says her brothers reflect a mother’s love and that “they are a shining example of what true parenting entails for parents of children and adults with special needs.”

“Now more than ever, family carers deserve to be recognised for their enormous contribution to our society," Cork Kerry Carer Supports Manager Peter Cox said. 
"Their unyielding commitment to care for their loved ones at home, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis, has been nothing short of remarkable and this sacrifice often comes at a cost to their physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. 

"These awards are about paying tribute to all of Ireland’s 500,000 family carers and shining a light on the immense work that they do, day in, day out, often with little or no help from the State. Their essential contribution to our national healthcare system needs to be properly acknowledged and supported.”

She was presented with her award at Cork City Hall by Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Derry Canty.

The annual Carer of the Year awards are held in recognition of the contribution of more than 50,000 family carers across the country. According to Family Carers Ireland, they provide unpaid care in the home for children or adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, those with palliative care needs or those living with chronic illnesses, mental ill-health, or addiction. The organistion says that family carers provide 19 million hours of unpaid care each week, which would cost the state €20bn a year to replace.

Colin Hayes, Netwatch Head of Business, Ireland and UK said: “This is our third year partnering with Family Carers Ireland, and yet again we are blown away by the level of sacrifice, care and commitment shown by each and every carer. It’s an honour to be part of this and hope that our involvement can help in even a small way to highlight this charity and support the needs of its members.”

Family Carers Ireland runs a national Freephone careline on 1800 24 07 24.

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