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Midlands Carers Recognised At National Awards

A mum from Athlone has taken the title in Westmeath.

Three midlands women have been recognised at the Carer of the Year Awards. 

Fiona McCormack from Walderstown, Athlone has been named Westmeath's Carer of the Year. 

She's looks after her 14 year old daughter, Caoimhe who has an intellectual disability and chronic medical conditions.

Portlaoise's Theresa Keyes has taken the title in Laois. She has two adult sons Mark and Peter who have special needs. Peter lives at home with his mother while Mark is in residential care but still comes home for his holidays. Theresa also cared for her late husband for many years before he sadly passed away from Covid last January. She is a remarkable and caring lady who always puts her family first.

Pictured are Laois Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Theresa Keyes (centre) with Beth Wogan, Family Carers Ireland (left) and Alison Hackett, Family Carers Ireland (right)

And Valerie Hall from Tullamore has been given the nod in Offaly carer for providing care for her elderly mum. 

The annual awards seek to recognise and shine a light on the remarkable contribution of Ireland's carers who go the extra mile every day in caring for loved ones with additional needs.

Pictured are Offaly Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Valerie Hall (centre) with her family, friends and neighbours

More than 500,000 people in Ireland 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 19 million hours of unpaid care provided each week by family carers would cost the state €20bn a year to replace.

Longford Westmeath Carer Supports Manager Paul Farrell said: “Now more than ever, family carers deserve to be recognised for their enormous contribution to our society. 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.”

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