Carer of the Year Awards 2018

On Friday 23rd November 2018, our team went along to the CarePlus Pharmacy Carer of the Year Awards which took place at The Westin Dublin with Family Carers Ireland.

Some of Ireland’s truly amazing carers began to arrive to The Westin from 11am with the awards ceremony commencing at 12:30pm. Catherine Cox from Family Carers Ireland kicked off the event and was then joined by the ceremony’s hosts, RTE broadcasters and Family Carers Ireland patrons, Marty Whelan & Mary Kennedy.

Family Carers Ireland’s Catherine Cox

RTE Broadcasters & Family Carers Ireland Patrons, Marty Whelan & Mary Kennedy

The awards ceremony itself was approximately an hour long, followed by a sit down meal for all attendees. At the beginning of the hour long ceremony, Marty & Mary spoke with Adam, one of last years young carers and Paula, last year’s Carer of the Year.

Adam, One of 2017’s Young Carers

Paula, 2017’s Carer of the Year

Family carers in Ireland provide 45 hours of unpaid-for care per week in their homes saving the state €10 billion every year. Today, 1 in 10 people provide care for a loved one in the home and by 2030, demographic changes predict that 1 in 5 people will take on a caring role.

Family Carers

27 family carers from across the country were recognised for their dedication and commitment with their truly outstanding stories being told.

  • Margaret Reddy from Co. Carlow
  • Austin Hands from Co. Cavan
  • Nancy O’Neill from Co. Clare
  • Brenda O’Connell-Barry from Co. Cork
  • Marie O’Toole from North Co. Dublin
  • Susanna Brennan from Co. Donegal
  • Adrienne Fuery from Co. Galway
  • Kay O’Donoghue from Co. Kerry
  • Catherine O’Connor from Co. Kildare
  • Teresa Hayes from Co. Kilkenny
  • John Bergin from Co. Laois
  • Ita Smith from Co. Leitrim
  • Mary Twomey from Co. Limerick
  • Ann Igoes from Co. Longford

  • Jenny Campbell from Co. Louth
  • Mary O’Boyle from Co. Mayo
  • Darryl Fitzgerald from Co. Meath
  • Eilish McRory from Co. Monaghan
  • Rose Dunne from Co. Offaly
  • Lucy Kelly from Co. Roscommon
  • Pat Battle from Co. Sligo
  • Nicola Burke from South County Dublin
  • Thomas McGrath from Co. Tipperary
  • Wendy Dee from Co. Waterford
  • Ann Quinn from Co. Westmeath
  • Catherine Barnes from Co. Wexford
  • Laura Driver from Co. Wicklow

Young Carers of the Year 2018

Marty & Mary were joined on stage by Mrs. Brown’s Boys’ Paddy Houlihan & Danny O’Carroll. The duo are ambassadors for the 2018 young carers and presented each amazing young carer with their award.

2018’s Young Carers of the Year were:

  • Alanna Connolly (17) from Athenry, Co. Galway
  • Harry (13) & Molly (11) Flynn from Ferrybank, Co. Kilkenny
  • Shauna Tighe (14) from Tallaght, Co. Dublin
  • Sean Ryan (10) from Portlaoise, Co. Laois

Marty Whelan & Mary Kennedy with Mrs. Brown’s Boys’ Paddy Houlihan & Danny O’Carroll

Carer of the Year 2018

The end of the ceremony saw the truly deserving and inspirational Brenda O’Connell-Barry from Charleville, County Cork awarded with the 2018 Carer of the Year award.

Brenda along with her husband Trevor care for their 4 year old son Fionn who has NACC1, a rare genetic mutational condition. Fionn is the only known person in Europe with this diagnosis. Fionn stopped feeding and would cry for 20 hours a day in extreme pain. This lead to a nasal gastro tube and peg feeding.

Along with her son’s condition, Brenda herself suffers from a highly debilitating illness called Systemic Lupus and has undergone chemotherapy treatment to alleviate the pain. She also cares for her mother who has recently had a cancer diagnosis.

Brenda O’Connell-Barry with Mary Kennedy, Marty Whelan & Catherine Cox

Brenda O’Connell-Barry with Mary Kennedy & Marty Whelan

“We are thrilled to announce Brenda as our National Careplus Carer of the Year 2018 today. Brenda will be a fantastic ambassador for the 355,000 family carers across Ireland. These awards serve to highlight the work of Ireland’s hidden army and give them the recognition they deserve, particularly the five young carers who received awards today. This is our 12th year running these awards and our message is unfortunately still the same, family carers are continuing to prop up an inadequate health system at a high personal cost physically, emotionally and financially.”

Catherine Cox

The team at Purcell Masterson proudly work with Family Carers Ireland and are truly honoured to have been in the company of such inspiring and outstanding people from across the country.

Purcell Masterson’s John, Bridget, Orlaith, James & Róisín with RTE broadcasters and Family Carers Ireland Patrons, Mary Kennedy & Marty Whelan and Mrs. Brown’s Boys and young carers ambassadors, Paddy Houlihan & Danny O’Carroll