Irene , Collette, Mary and Michael Reilly, Kathleen Kiernan, Noel and Ray Reilly, Jamie and Kerrie Crowe Photo by Shelley Corcoran
Colmcille’s Michael Reilly has been crowned the 2017 Longford Carer of the Year.
Mr Reilly was bestowed with the honour during a ceremony at the community center in Aughnacliffe last Friday afternoon.
He is being honoured for the care and dedication he has shown to his wife Mary who is wheelchair bound and dependent on those around her to assist with independent living.
During last Friday’s celebrations among the famous hills of north Longford, Michael’s grandson Jamie told those gathered all about the special person, Michael Reilly is.
“Granddad renovated the bedrooms and bathroom for granny; he also had to buy a special car that would hold granny’s wheelchair,” he smiled, before pointing to Michael’s pastimes and interests
“Another reason I admire grandad is he is a pioneer, neither he nor granny ever drank alcohol,” continued Jamie.
“Their favourite pastime when they were younger was going to dances and granddad still brings granny out to dances.”
Meanwhile, those gathered heard that Michael is a man who loves the land and enjoys farming his few acres in the north Longford hills.
He is also passionate about the GAA.
“Granddad grows his own vegetables and this includes potatoes, cabbage, lettuce and carrots,” added his proud grandson.
“He also has some apple trees and strawberries.”
The ceremony in Aughnacliffe last Friday afternoon was also told that Michael Reilly held a deep faith and was a regular at Sunday Mass.
He also helps his wife to get in and out of the car and does all the cooking, cleaning and washing that is required in any family home on an average day.
“He also says the Rosary,” added Jamie.
“Granny can be very forgetful and grandad is always there to help her remember anything she needs to know.
“Most of all he manages to make granny laugh; he is always happy and ready to help anyone who needs a helping hand.
“He has a great interest in football and always encouraged me to play …..he also gives me great Christmas and birthday presents too!”
Meanwhile, Rossie, who has worked with Family Carers Ireland for the last few years drops into Michael and Mary every week.
It was she who nominated Michael Reilly for the Longford Carer of the Year award in the first instance.
She paid tribute to the couple last Friday.
“I have known Michael and Mary for most of my life and Michael’s love, dedication and commitment to Mary is way beyond the call of duty,” she added, before pointing to the couple’s positive disposition no matter what the difficulty.
“They always keep the bright side up and they are remarkable people; Michael really deserves this award.”