Mary Hagan, from Bunlahy, at the Care of the Year Awards
The 2019 Netwatch National Carer of the Year and four regional Young Carers of the Year for 2019 were announced this week at a gala awards ceremony held in the Westin Hotel, Dublin.
Broadcasters and patrons of Family Carers Ireland Marty Whelan and Mary Kennedy presented the Longford Netwatch Carer of the Year to Mary Hagan from Bunlahy. Mary is a young mother who cares fulltime for her twin children Clodagh and Luke who are five years old and are severely Autistic.
The twins don’t sleep at night and Mary and her husband never get a break. Mary is an amazing Mum to both her children and she really deserves to be recognised for the wonderful care she provides to Clodagh and Luke.
In October of this year, Mary also received the Longford Carer of the Year Award at a small ceremony in the Longford Arms.
Speaking to the Longford Leader following that event, Mary thanked everyone for the support she and her husband Sean have received.
“In the beginning we didn’t really have any support, whereas now, there is a lot of awareness surrounding autism. People are now more understanding,” she said.
“Even through FCI on Facebook, it is great. All of the other parents support each other. It is like a forum to help other parents, and somewhere they can talk openly without being judged.
“If you’re stuck or need a bit of help, there is a website where you can go or a number you can call for advice.”
Information and advice can be obtained from the Family Carers Ireland website: familycarers.ie.