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Army of tired carers deserve better recognition and help

Letters to the Editor


Family carers are very often fighting a lonely battle

Family carers are very often fighting a lonely battle

Family carers are very often fighting a lonely battle

I’m a full-time carer for my son who is going to be 17 years old next month. He requires 24-hour care. He is a wheelchair user. He has complex medical needs, a severe/profound intellectual disability and is non-verbal.

The pandemic has taken its toll on family carers. Many children and adults with disabilities/additional needs could not attend school/day services for long periods of time. My own son is still home cocooning due to his vulnerability.

We would like some recognition from the State for the valuable work we do.

We aren’t looking for anything extraordinary but, for example, the means test for carers should be removed – or at the very least overhauled so more carers would qualify. We do save the State €20m every year after all.

Carers are often doing the job of parent, teacher, nurse, physio and occupational therapist. It’s not an easy role and we often find that we lose our own identity on our caring journey. If we were valued and at least all given Carer’s Allowance it would make life a little easier. It’s only €224 a week but every little helps.

There is a lot more that needs to be done. Respite must be made widely available to every family and residential places must also be made available for those who need them. School places and day services need to open up so there are many more spaces to cater for the children and adults who are waiting for them. We must end waiting lists.

It’s soul-destroying having to fight day in, day out for services, equipment, therapies and medical appointments. It’s never-ending. The form-filling needs to end and things need to made easily accessible. We are all so sick and tired of all the obstacles and red tape placed in our way.

We are an exhausted army of workers who work away behind closed doors.

It’s guaranteed that we won’t down tools and walk away from our family members because we love them. The State takes advantage of that love. We need support now – and if nobody cares for the carer, what will happen to those we care for?

Aisling McNiffe

Ardclough, Co Kildare

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Greater focus on world sport and fewer bogeys please, RTÉ

RTÉ Radio 1 claimed yesterday morning that Matt Fitzpatrick – an English golfer – had won his first event “on US soil”.

In fact he had done something only one other golfer has ever done in winning the US Open on the same course he had previously won the US Amateur Open.

The other was the great Jack Nicklaus whose record in golf’s Majors will never be surpassed; 18 wins and 19 times second or joint second.

I can’t imagine RTÉ making a similar error in some minor GAA game.

Maybe it should do a little research into things other than Ballygobackwards Slashers v Thingamajigs Stephenites.

There are some people who enjoy international sports and like to hear who won – not just where the Irish competitor finished (the extra few seconds probably cuts into GAA time).

David Ryan

Co Meath

International law has been flouted by the State for years

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney have all justifiably criticised the UK government for its proposal to enact UK legislation that will be in breach of international law with regard to the Northern Ireland Protocol and the Good Friday Agreement.

It is good to see such respect for international laws by our senior Government leaders on such matters. Yet far more serious breaches of international laws and Irish legislation have been occurring due to US military use of Shannon Airport since 2001.

In April 2003, Judge Nicholas Kearns in the High Court ruled that the Irish Government was in breach of customary international laws on neutrality including the Hague Convention (V) on neutrality. The UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) has been brought into Irish legislation by the Criminal Justice (UNCAT) Act 2000. Article 4.1 of UNCAT states: “Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.”

US military and CIA use of Shannon Airport has arguably made the Irish State complicit in war crimes and acts of torture.

Edward Horgan

Newtown, Co Limerick

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I wonder will Mr Putin, Mr Lavrov, Mr Medvedev or Mr Peskov ever deign to visit the Russian front line?

Eugene Tannam

Firhouse, Dublin 24

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