Ireland’s Carer of the Year and Young Carer of the Year 2014 Announced

 21 family carers from across Ireland honoured for their caring roles

Twenty one family carers from across Ireland were presented with special awards today at The Carers Association’s Carers of the Year Awards 2014 ceremony.

Madeleine Morrissey (69) from Kiltealy, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford has been announced Ireland’s Carer of the Year and Jamie Mooney (17), Shankill, Co. Dublin as Ireland’s Young Carer of the Year 2014. They were presented with their awards by broadcasters and patrons of The Carers Association, Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan.

Madeleine provides full time care for her three, now adult, children. Jay (40), Pat (38) and Sheila (36) are people with Intellectual Disabilities. They require full-time care and have a number of care needs. Jay has epilepsy and can have seizures at any time. Pat has eczema which means he needs to be bathed regularly with special cream applied every day. They both have limited speech. Madeleine also cares for her 93 year old mother-in-law, lighting fires, cooking for her and providing anything she needs.

Madeleine is part of Ireland’s ‘Sandwich Generation’ caring for her adult children as well as her mother-in-law. According to a study conducted at Trinity College Dublin, one third of Irish women aged 50 – 69 provide care for both older parents and dependent children.*

After 30 years in the disability system it is only in recent years that Madeleine and her husband, Patsy, have gotten some respite care for Jay, Pat and Sheila. This typically equates to two to three weeks each year. Madeleine won’t go away for a weekend as she is afraid something will happen and wants to be close by.

This year’s awards saw a 400 per cent increase in the number of nominations for young carers, some as young as ten years of age.

Jamie Mooney from Shankill, Ireland’s Young Carer of the Year 2014, has provided care for his mother, Sabrina Mooney (35), since he was a small child. Sabrina had Meningitis at 19 and suffered a stroke. She was diagnosed with Epilepsy shortly after Jamie was born. He has often called ambulance services and talked medical personnel through his mother’s condition when she was having seizures. She could have a couple of seizures each week. After Jamie’s sister, Lexie (8), was born he would help his mother care for the baby too while his dad, a chef, was at work.

Earlier this year, Sabrina had a very bad dream that Jamie was ill and asked him to have a lump checked out. Unfortunately the family’s worst fears came true. In July this year, Jamie was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He is undergoing intense Chemotherapy at the moment which is due to finish the week before Christmas.

Despite everything Jamie is very positive and always checks his mother is ok. Following in his dad’s footsteps, Jamie has just finished work experience at Chapter One which he really enjoyed.

Speaking at the awards, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications of The Carers Association said “We had a very high level of nominations for this year’s awards, with a significant increase in the young carer category. While caring is often a very challenging role, family carers provide care with love and find it a very rewarding experience. We want to celebrate the enormous contribution and loving care provided by our family carers with these awards.”

Sponsored by Tunstall Emergency Response, The Carers Association’s Carers of the Year Awards 2014 celebrates the dedication and commitment of Ireland’s 187,000 family carers and 6,500 young carers. All entries receive a commemorative certificate and 21 regional/local Carers of the Year were honoured at the Awards ceremony.

“The care provided by Ireland’s family carers each day is incredible. We are very proud to work with family carers across the country as well as to acknowledge their commitment to caring for their loved ones at the Carers of the Year Awards” said James Doyle, Director of Tunstall Emergency Response, Ireland’s leading provider of telehealthcare services to over 35,000 Irish customers.

The Carers Association is a national voluntary organisation that provide a range of vital supports and services to Ireland’s 187,000 Family Carers, for more information see

For more information or to view a sample of the national coverage secured  on behalf of The Carers Association visit RTÈ.ieRTÈ Radio and the Irish Examiner online or follow the #CarersAward2014 hashtag on social media.