Family Carers Ireland has received a significant number of calls to its National Freephone Careline (1800 24 07 24) from family carers asking what might happen should they or their loved one contract the Covid-19 virus or be forced to self-isolate.

“Many of these family carers care for young children or adults with profound disability who may not be viewed as vulnerable to Covid-19 but are most vulnerable in terms of their care needs should their primary carer be forced to self-isolate or become hospitalised” stated Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement, Family Carers Ireland.

Given the unprecedented pressure on our hospitals due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation’s top priority is to support as many people as possible remaining in the care of their loved ones at home.  With this in mind, there is an urgent need for clear guidance for family carers on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in a home caring situation as well as a contingency plan with specific steps to follow in the event of the family carer becoming unable to continue caring.  The organisation has already developed and published an Emergency Care Guide to help prepare for such eventualities, and it is now urging the HSE to present a clear protocol on how the health service will deal with such cases.

As the number of those diagnosed increases and many of these will be sent home to manage their own recovery, we anticipate that an increase in demand for home support corresponding to the surge in hospital demand.  In order to prepare for this, current Home Support Packages are being reviewed and only cases requiring medical or personal care will be most likely continued.  Otherwise families will see a reduction, or in some cases, elimination of existing home care hours on the basis of the unprecedented community support being mobilized in the face of an unprecedented national challenge. Family Carers Ireland accepts the need for this in light of the unique challenge that the Covid-19 pandemic represents.  The organisation will be there to support those families and will work with other groups in the community such as An Garda Síochána, community groups and organisations to try to minimise the impact that this will have on caring families.

“We are all in this together and must show solidarity in these difficult times” said Ms Cox.

Another major concern for family carers is the risk posed by the shortage of personal protective equipment such as hand sanitiser gel and gloves, particularly for those providing intimate care to vulnerable children and adults. Family carers are also concerned that they may be unable to access products essential to their caring role such as medicines, incontinence pads, catheters, diet supplements, etc. as the situation worsens.

Family Carers Ireland is calling on Government to put a number of measures in place to protect Family Carers including: 

  1. Family carers should be named and recognised as a ‘vulnerable group’ by the Public Health Emergency Committee and a guidance document for family carers should be produced giving advice on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in caring situations, setting out protocols and steps to be taken should a family carer or their loved one display symptoms.
  2. Priority testing and verification where there is suspected case of Covid-19 within a family carers home.
  3. Clarification over the continuation of home support services in cases where a person in a household has Covid-19 or is in self-isolation.
  4. Contingency plans for when a family carer is diagnosed with Covid-19 or is in self-isolation.
  5. All family carers should have access to personal protective equipment including hand sanitiser, gloves and aprons and gowns where necessary and be given clear guidance on how to use them correctly.
  6. Covid-19 has forced the closure of many routine services family carers and their loved ones rely on including respite and day care services. Efforts should be made to provide in-home alternatives where practical.

Family Carers Ireland has received confirmation from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection that family carers working up to 18.5 hours a week outside the home and in receipt of Carer’s Allowance can apply for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and will receive payment should they lose some or all of their hours due to the pandemic.

Family Carers Ireland is the national charity supporting and advocating on behalf the 355,000 family carers across the country who care for loved ones such as children or adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, the terminally ill or those suffering from chronic illnesses or addiction. It provides a range of services and supports for family carers through its 22 resource centres nationwide and through our National Freephone Careline 1800 240724. If there are businesses or philanthropic organisations out there who would like to support family carers at this time please go to



10 tips to motivate the kids and get active with your pet on National Puppy Day 

Today, March 23rd, is National Puppy Day! Time to lavish some extra love on the four legged family members. Countless studies have shown that dogs can help to elevate moods, reduce anxiety and stress, and help to manage our physical health too. Sadly a recent survey* has shown that 60 percent of dogs are overweight and 18 per cent of respondents admitted that their dog gets less than 30 minutes of exercise a day.

Petmania has compiled 10 fun ways to say thank you on National Puppy Day, to get moving with your pet, elevate our mood and beat the cabin fever blues. 

Walk the walk

Depending on the breed of your dog some pets need at least 40 minutes of exercise per day. Leash-up for on walk in a riverside or greenway – choose somewhere with plenty of space and go during quiet times. 

Play a game of classic fetch

An oldie but a goodie. Your dog will delight in chasing that ball down, bringing it back to you and relish in the “good dog” reward.

Set Up Obstacle Courses

Challenge your dog both mentally and physically with a DIY obstacle course. This can be indoor or outdoor. Make jumps, use a hula hoop, fashion a tunnel from a cardboard box, set out the furniture and get your dog to duck and weave between it.

Run Your Dog Up and Down the Stairs

Using the stairs is a great way to add an additional challenge to a dog’s workout. Stand at the top of the stairs, call your dog and throw a ball or toy back down to fetch.

Make Your Dog Work For its Treats

Get some of your dog’s favourite treats and hide them around the house – behind doors, under tables, underneath rugs and let him sniff them out! Treat toys also provide great stimulation both mentally and physically. Be careful to monitor their portion size, treats should make up no more that 10 percent of the dogs intake.

Cycle or Rollerblade

Introduce creative ways to get your daily walk. Take out your wheels and let your pet  alongside you, this can be a bike, scooter, rollerblades or motorised toy car.

Tug of War

There are lots of rope toy options available. This playful game will provide lots of active fun.

Blowing Bubbles

Dogs love chasing bubbles! Set the kids up with a bubble station – let them blow bubbles through the wand and delight in your dog’s attempt to hunt them down.

Play Frisbee 

Stand apart  by 3 meters or more and throw a frisbee to each other. Your puppy will love chasing it back and forth.

Teach Tricks

This is the perfect time to teach your furry friend some simple tricks like ‘roll over’, ‘give me the paw’ or ‘bow’. Visit Petmania’s YouTube for its recommended playlist.

Emily Miller from Petmania Ireland said,

“We hope you use this time at home to enhance your pets health and exercise regime. Animals are terrific companions, especially in uncertain times to boost our mood, get us active and most importantly offer unconditional love.” 



A Sligo based company, Dmac Media is the latest to offer its expertise in a bid to help the country’s frontline services meet the demands of the Covid 19 Pandemic.Dave McEvoy from Dmac Media noticed a big change in the business over the last few days. The website developers have received a significant number of requests from pharmacies and GP clients to update their websites to help cope with the unprecedented volume of calls and messages that they are experiencing in light of the current health risk.

Dave and his team decided that their skills would be helpful in these difficult times and have offered to update websites free of charge to all those involved in frontline healthcare. This will make information, forms and contact easier to access from home, for customers who are isolating. The company has offered this service to over 70 existing clients and would like to extend it to healthcare providers across Ireland.

Dave McEvoy, Director of Dmac Media said,“We have had a lot of our pharmacy and GP clients in touch about getting COVID 19 notices on their websites and to get contact forms in place to reduce the pressure on their phone lines. Typical were GPs who wanted to put an information sheet or contact form on their home page, or pharmacies that wanted to make it easy for customers to order repeat prescriptions.”

It takes just a few minutes to fill out a consultation form on the Dmac Media’s website The changes will be implemented rapidly and without fuss. The company only require access to the website to make the changes.  The log in details will only be used to implement the changes needed and then destroyed.  All Dmac Media staff are briefed on best practice for GDPR and guarantee that none of your data will be in any way compromised. The company also guarantees that they will destroy any information protected by GDPR and will NOT follow up with a sales call.

Mr McEvoy went on to say,

“We know GP practices and pharmacies are under huge pressure just keeping up with demand and do not have time, or often the expertise, to make these small but important changes to their websites. We are not intending to take business from the regular website developer but in many cases people do not know who to ask for help with their website.  We can do this work remotely and are happy to do this free of charge whilst this crisis continues. We promise there will be no follow up sales call we just want to help in getting accurate information out to the public and hopefully cut the numbers of people needing to walk through your doors. ”

Pharmacies, GP surgeries and other frontline healthcare professionals who wish to avail of Dmac Media’s website development expertise should visit its website and fill in a quick form. The company can implement the changes quickly, and from a remote location. For more information visit


Survey shows obesity in dogs and cats is a growing epidemic

Top tips to control weight gain as survey shows 60 per cent of dogs and 40 per cent of cats are overweight

Obesity in dogs and cats is a growing epidemic with almost 60 per cent of dogs and 40 per cent of cats overweight according to a recent study*. This leads to reduced life expectancy and a litany of unhealthy conditions including heart disease and diabetes in animals.Petmania Ireland conducted a nationwide survey held throughout December and January which reveals worrying results:

  • 60 per cent of dogs and 40 per cent of cats are overweight
  • 43 per cent have not weighed their dog in the last three months, 53 per cent of cat owners have not weighed their cat in the same period.
  • Less than half (46 per cent) of the respondents knew what an ideal ‘Body Condition Score’ for their pet should be.
  • 28 per cent do not measure their dog’s meals and choose to free pour / 63 per cent free pour their cat’s food.
  • 36 per cent give treats because their cat begged /  39per cent give dog treats two or more times each day.
  • 18 per cent of respondents said their dog gets less than 30 minutes of exercise each day whilst pet owners observed that their cat spent most of their day sleeping and 4 per cent of dog-owners admit that their dog gets no exercise.
  • 58 per cent of dogs spend three-plus hours alone each day, while for cats this figure is 91 per cent
  • 28 per cent of dogs and 17per cent of cats share their owner’s bed
  • Encouragingly, 75% of dogs and 91% of cats have been neutered

Committed to helping pet-parents manage their pet’s diet throughout their life-stages and form long-term #HealthierHabits, the number one thing Petmania recommends is that dog and cat owners weigh their animal at least every three months. This way they know when a weight problem emerges and can address it quickly with some simple practical tips for example:

Tips to manage cat’s health and diet:

  1. Choosing the right food for your cat’s life stages is the first step to preventing obesity. Measure the portion sizes and remember that treats can significantly add to your cats calorie intake.
  2. Outdoor cats tend to be more active but you can encourage indoor-cats natural instincts by using toys, tunnels and climbing posts.
  3. Introduce ‘play-time’: 10 to 15 short bursts of interaction with your cat each day will keep them fit and active.
  4.  Position your cat’s food and water trays away from each other to encourage them to move around more.

Tips to manage dog’s health and diet:

  1. Choosing a ‘complete food’ ensures that all of the basic nutritional content for your dog will be included. It is recommended to use a digital scales to measure your dog’s meals to ensure you are not over feeding.
  2. Exercise requirements will naturally change over the lifetime of the dog, it is encouraged to be a little creative when choosing an exercise regime for example play Tug-of-War, cycle or rollerblade with your dog on a lead, do some agility training which is available in most towns. See Petmania’s free OT booklet for dog’s exercise needs.
  3. Treats should make up no more that 10 percent of the dogs intake.
  4. If competition for food is an issue in your home adjusting your feeding regime may reduce over-eating or introduce a puzzle feeder to prolong the feeding process plus it offers great mental stimulation too.

Emily Miller of Petmania said,

“Petmania offers regular free weight-checks in store and this is the easiest way to track and maintain the animals health. For the rest of March we are running Operation TransPAWmation to help pet owners understand how to manage the health of their four-legged family members. We hope people will pop in with their cats and dogs to get a free weight check and speak to our pet experts.”

Petmania is inviting pet owners to take part in Operation TransPAWmation for free in one of its 12 stores nationwide. Pet owners can bring their dog or cat to Petmania for a free weight check and body condition score check. Throughout the campaign the pet retailer are giving participants free booklets containing a food diary, exercise hints, tips and exclusive discounts. Each animal that takes part will automatically go into a draw to win a three month’s supply of food from Royal Canin. For full survey results and more information visit: |  #Petmania­OT | #HealthierHabits |



Family Carers Ireland call on Micheál Martin to make its GE2020 ‘asks’ a red line issue in Government formation talks

Family Carers Ireland welcomed TD and Leader of the Fianna Fáil party, Micheál Martin, to its annual ‘National Respite Weekend’ at The Clayton Hotel Cork City on Saturday 7th March. The Leader took time to meet with family carers, hear their stories and delivered a pre-dinner address at the event.

The charity took the opportunity to call on Micheál Martin to make Family Carers Ireland’s GE2020 Manifesto ‘asks’ a red line issue in formation talks for the next Government, particularly to give full-time family carers a right to 20 days respite each year in line with statutory leave available to paid workers. According to the organisation, a minimum entitlement to 20 days guaranteed respite each year should be enshrined in the impending statutory homecare legislation in line with the statutory leave available to paid workers.

One in 10 people in Ireland is a family carer with many providing round-the-clock care to a loved one without pay, with limited support and little or no access to a break. Without the €10 billion in unpaid care they provide each year, the Irish health service would crumble. Despite the enormity of their contribution, a recent study* shows that access to respite for family carers has worsened over the last decade. Seven in 10 family carers in 2009 said they had no access to respite, compared to four in ten in 2009.

Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement with Family Carers Ireland said, “Family Carers Ireland welcomes Micheál Martin to the ‘National Respite Weekend’ a vitally important time for family carers to recharge their batteries and meet with people in similar situations. We are heartened by his show of support for family carers and want to reiterate to all political parties that they must recognise the essential role that family carers play in sustaining the national health system.  No one can run on empty, yet this group of vulnerable people are consistently being asked to keep going without a break. Paid workers get breaks, weekends off and 20 days of statutory leave entitlement for their 38 hours per week yet family carers, the majority of whom provide over 50 hours of care per week and many more care 24/7 for their loved ones get next to nothing. This must be addressed in the next Government.”

Family Carers Ireland is the national charity supporting the 355,000 family carers across the country who care for loved ones such as children or adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, the terminally ill or those suffering from chronic illnesses or addiction. It provides a range of services and supports for family carers through its 22 resource centres nationwide. For more information see or contact a local resource centre.

*Paying the Price: The Physical, Mental and Psychological Impact of Caring study shows that: 


  • 83 per cent  of carers’ loved ones have no access to suitable respite
  • 82 per cent of carers provide more than 50 hours of care per week
  • 61 per cent of carers provide more than 100+ hours of care per week
  • 67 per cent of carers reported they suffered with physical ill health
  • 48 per cent of carers said they were diagnosed with mental ill health
  • 68 per cent of carers felt that their health had suffered as a result of caring
  • 40 per cent thought their health would be improved with more access to respite


Paying the Price: The Physical, Mental and Psychological Impact of Caring was produced by Family Carers Ireland in collaboration with the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland and UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems.






“Mrs Deegan – President Putin will be seated to your right”


Nearly 25 years ago Dubliner Debbie Deegan and her family opened their home to two Russian orphan girls for a month in the summer. It was to change her life. They visited her house. She went to visit their orphanage. What she saw was heartbreaking and she was determined to improve their lot.

She quit her job in the fashion world of Mirror Mirror and set about changing the conditions of the orphanages that had been home to the two very neglected little girls. What began as a whip around at a coffee morning led to the setting up of a charity and a promise to improve the lives of the children she met. Over the years  the charity she founded, To Russia With Love,(renamed To Children with Love in 2015), has brought structure, education, ambition, care and love to  the lives of over 5,000 children. Her lobbying of the Russian authorities has transformed how children in state care are treated in Russia. The story is told in her 2012 book, “To Russia With Love,” written with Emily Hourican and published by Mercier Press.

In 2019 Debbie was awarded the Order of Friendship which is the highest honour that can be given to a foreigner in Russia. It was  presented personally by the President. Hence her meeting with Putin.

Last year she came to the attention of Ted Talks and was invited to present her story in Kingston Upon Thames this January. The resulting talk “Mrs Deegan – President Putin will be seated to your right,” is in turn motivational, heartwarming, provocative and amusing. She recounts, as only Debbie can, the range of emotions on learning that she was to spend two hours with the President.

After a career in retail fashion and the charity sector Debbie is now using her unique experience in overcoming challenges and leading teams in her new career, inspirational speaker. She has been doing it for 25 years now.



Exclusive rooftop occasion photographs in the heart of the city

Confirmations and Communions at Pembroke Kilkenny

Pembroke Kilkenny has designed very special celebrations for families who are looking forward to a Confirmation or Communion this spring.  The city’s premier boutique venue, is inviting families to celebrate the special day at Pembroke Kilkenny.With its fantastic city centre location, Statham’s can tailor a get-together to suit the individual needs of each family from a low-key casual gathering with finger food and drinks to a more leisurely afternoon including a delicious four-course meal featuring the very best locally sourced ingredients from the country’s fine artisan producers including Breagagh Valley, Highbank Orchard, Kell’s Wholemeal and Macroom Buffalo.

 Create everlasting memories with a stunning roof-top cityscape against the breath-taking backdrop of Kilkenny Castle. Pembroke Kilkenny offers its guests exclusive access to its famous rooftop to take those all-important family photographs.

The recently refurbished event’s room offers comfort and luxury in a modern, stylish and cosy setting, a fantastic party venue in the city centre. Not forgetting who’s day it is, the hotel has smart TVs and a choice of games to entertain the younger ones while the adults relax and enjoy the occasion.

Paul Broderick, General Manager of Pembroke Kilkenny said, “Communions and Confirmations are a once in a lifetime event in a young person’s life and a special occasion for the extended family. However you choose to celebrate this special event our dedicated team is here to help. If you want something low-key and private or a big family celebration, at Pembroke Kilkenny we have you covered! Our team is happy to arrange your day just the way you want it. Don’t forget to take in the spectacular view across the city, Castle Yard and majestic Kilkenny Castle from our rooftop. We are thrilled to offer this scenic space exclusively to our guests.”

The Pembroke Kilkenny team love creating unforgettable celebrations and look forward to helping to make happy memories for families across Kilkenny this spring. For more visit: 



Noel Lawler Green Energy Solutions has won the award “Building Performance Consultancy” (up to 50 employees) at the prestigious CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) Building Performance Awards 2020 in London on 11th February. Central to its success is the company’s innovative ‘pay as you save’ financing approach where they, on behalf of their customers, secure project finance, invest in technology upgrades and share in the verified savings with the customer. The Irish company beat off international competition from companies based across the globe responsible for the design, commissioning, construction, installation and operation of low energy buildings. 

 This is another major award for Noel Lawler Green Energy Solutions where their Energy Performance Contract with Dublin City Council won at the European Energy Awards in Berlin in 2017. Additionally, they have recently won the Public Sector Award for Excellence in Energy Services 2020.A significant project for the company was Center Parcs, a €233 million once in a lifetime development in Co. Longford which includes 466 Scandinavian style lodges and 30 lake view apartments, and 9 commercial buildings including a sub-tropical swimming pool. The company, headquartered in Kilkenny, with offices in Cork, Dublin, London and Saudi Arabia, was appointed as mechanical and electrical design engineers for the entire project. Other projects include a complete energy saving refit of Brown Thomas stores, Meubles in Kilkenny, and the Watershed Leisure Centre in Kilkenny where an energy consumption of €350,000 was reduced by €75,000 annually, with a carbon reduction of 33 per cent.

 Managing Director, Daniel Ring, said that :-

 “Our innovative approach, combined with research on emerging technologies such as the use of biomass boilers to convert poultry droppings to heat, will deliver creative and unparalleled project results. There are no capital costs up front for the client and we share the savings on a prior agreed basis with them once they have been achieved, measured, and verified. This model has been very successful in Germany and Austria and Czech Republic and it is working for us and an important part of our CIBSE success.”

 “A future built on sustainable design is the standard we at Noel Lawler Green Energy Solutions set ourselves. This increases the value of a building, increases competitiveness for the business and reduces maintenance costs. Plus there is the vital reduction in the impact on the environment. We are delighted by the recognition from CIBSE – the Oscars of our industry. This recognition is testament to our staff.”

 The company is involved at a strategic level with many organisations in developing their sustainability roadmaps to 2030 and beyond. It also works with many businesses to progress their corporate environmental reporting structures.

 Other major projects for the company include the former site of Smithwick’s Brewery in Kilkenny, the Abbey Creative Quarter Development, which is currently undergoing major redevelopment. This is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) for a Neighbourhood Development in Ireland. This recognises development projects that successfully protect and enhance overall health, natural environment and quality of life. The twenty-acre brownfield site will feature several Near Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB). Key features of the former Brewhouse are low flow water fixtures, energy efficient heating and lighting, and a design for natural ventilation to optimise oxygen levels. This will result in 4,500 square metres of high-quality office space wrapped around a central atrium and be completed by the end of 2020.

 Noel Lawler Green Energy Solutions are also working with Decathlon main contractor Mannings as BREEAM champions to deliver a project that achieves the overall BREEAM credentials. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation.

Managing Director, Daniel Ring, went on to say, 

 “The public sector is targeted to reduce energy consumption by 50% by 2030. The challenge now is to accelerate progress. And this is where Energy Performance Contracts (EPC) have a big role to play. At Noel Lawler Green Energy Solutions we have secured Ireland’s first two publicly procured Energy Performance Contracts (EPC) with Dublin City Council. The eight-year contract will upgrade initially three, and then an additional seven sports and fitness centres. These projects will produce savings of over €2.5 million. Using EPCs we can achieve enormous carbon reduction in the public sector and these improvements will be independent of the central Government budget.” 

For more information on Noel Lawler Green Energy Solutions see


Petmania Launches Operation TransPAWmation as survey reveals worrying statistics

Petmania Ireland has launched its annual Operation TransPAWmation campaign in association with Royal Canin. The campaign runs throughout February and March in Petmania stores nationwide. It aims to reduce obesity in pets, encourage healthier habits and transform pet’s lives. 

According to Royal Canin experts, obesity in dogs is a growing epidemic with three in five dogs now overweight. Likewise 40 per cent of cats are overweight. Obesity can lead to devastating health complications like arthritis, cardio respiratory problems and ligament rupture. It significantly reduces a pet’s life expectancy and their wellbeing. These troubling figures prompted Petmania to conduct its own survey into the health and lifestyle habits of Irish pet owners.

Petmania Ireland’s Pet Health & Lifestyle Survey, held throughout December and January, looked at four elements of pet care including body conditioning, weight and diet, exercise and play plus wellbeing and lifestyle.

Petmania Ireland’s Pet Health & Lifestyle Survey revealed 

  1. 43 per cent have not weighed their dog in the last three months, 53 per cent of cat owners have not weighed their cat in the same period. 30 per cent are unsure when their cat was last weighed, if at all. A further eight per cent said they have never checked their dog’s weight.
  2. Less than half (46 per cent) of the respondents knew what an ideal ‘Body Condition Score’ for their pet should be.
  3. 28 per cent do not measure their dog’s meals and choose to free pour / 63 per cent free pour their cat’s food.
  4. 36 per cent give treats because their cat begged /  39per cent give dog treats two or more times each day.
  5. 18 per cent of respondents said their dog gets less than 30 minutes of exercise each day whilst pet owners observed that their cat spent most of their day sleeping and four per cent of dog-owners admit that their dog gets no exercise.

What of pets lifestyle and wellbeing? The survey shows 

  1. 58 per cent of dogs spend three-plus hours alone each day, while for cats this figure is 91 per cent
  2. 28 per cent of dogs and 17per cent of cats share their owner’s bed
  3. Encouragingly, 75% of dogs and 91% of cats have been neutered

Throughout February and March, Petmania are inviting pet owners to take part in Operation TransPAWmation in one of its 12 stores nationwide. Pet owners can bring their dog or cat to Petmania for a free weight and body condition score(BSC) check. The BSC is a visual examination of the pet’s body ranked on a scale from one to nine.  As part of the campaign dog and cat owners can pick up a booklet containing a food diary, exercise hints and tips, suggested #HealthierHabits and exclusive discounts. Each animal that takes part will automatically go into a draw to win a three month’s supply of food from Royal Canin.

As part of the campaign a national dog-walk will take place across the country on March 14th and 15th. To participate in the free programme ‘Operation TransPAWmation’, visit any of the 12 Petmania stores nationwide. For full survey results and more information visit: |  #Petmania­OT | #HealthierHabits |

Family Carers Ireland launches ‘Family Carers Canvass Card’ ahead of GE2020


Five key questions for Caring Candidates

Family Carers Ireland has launched its ‘Family Carers Canvass Card’.  The campaign entitled ‘No one Should Have to Care Alone’ is calling on electoral candidates and the community to prioritise family carers in the next Government.

Family Carers Ireland is appealing to communities to make their voice count and challenge candidates to commit to sharing the care with Ireland’s 355,000 family carers. The cards are available from and outline five main areas where change is urgently needed to support family carers, the unsung heroes of Ireland’s inadequate health service.


Family Carers Canvass Card Key Questions for Candidates

  1. Will you reform the means test for Carer’s Allowance?
  2. Will you abolish the postcode lottery in carer supports by funding the €3.2m Carers Guarantee proposal?
  3. Will you commit to increasing funding to ensure demand-led access to homecare?
  4. Will you commit to giving all full time family carers the right to 20 days respite per year?
  5. Will you commit to abolish waiting lists for essential therapies for children with special needs? (e.g. speech & language, physio, occupational therapy & psychology)


Family Carers Ireland (FCI) is a National Charity dedicated to supporting the estimated 355,000 Family Carers in Ireland. With limited availability to supports and services family carers are an extremely vulnerable group of Irish society. Family carers prop up the national health service at a high personal cost – financially, physically and emotionally.

  • Family carers save the state €10 billion per year.
  • One in ten adults in Ireland is a family carer
  • By 2030, demographic changes predict that one in five people will take on a caring role.
  • It is estimated that there are over 57,000 young carers (under 18) in Ireland looking after someone in their family who has an illness or disability.
  • 82 per cent of family carers provide over 50 hours of unpaid care to their loved ones each week and of them, 61 per cent provide more than 100 hours of care per week.*

Family Carers Ireland’s Head of Communications and Carer Engagement, Catherine Cox said,

“We have an opportunity to address urgent needs for family carers across Ireland who work tirelessly, often 24/7, to care for their family, friends and loved ones with very little access to services or respite. Family carers prop-up the Irish Health Care System with their selfless commitment by freeing up nursing home and hospital beds. Their sacrifice saves the State €10bn each year, despite this, carers are paying an enormous personal price financially, physically and mentally. Family Carers Ireland are urging candidates in the forthcoming election to prioritise family carers in the next Government. Please ask candidates in the 2020 election what they will do to support Ireland’s 355,000 family carers, because no one should have to care alone.