Shine a light on the forgotten frontline – unpaid home carers
At the launch of the Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards are Shauna Tighe, former Dublin Young Carer of the Year, and Mick Galwey, Netwatch Brand Ambassador and Ireland rugby legend Photo by Mark Stedman

Shine a light on the forgotten frontline – unpaid home carers

NOMINATIONS for the Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards, which helps to shine a light on Ireland’s forgotten frontline by recognising family carers and young carers, are now being accepted.

Tallaght teenager Shauna Tighe, 17, helped to launch the opening of the nominations this week.

Shauna is a previous Dublin Young Carer of the Year, who helps her parents to care for her younger brother Daniel, who has a rare genetic disorder called Sotos Syndrome.

She said: “Being a young carer is definitely hard but the good outweighs the bad. It’s brought me many different experiences and given me a special bond with my brother.”

The Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards aim to recognise family carers and are inviting members of the public to nominate people they know who are carers.

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, according to Netwatch.

Young carers aged between 10 and 17, totalling almost 67,000 nationally, are also being recognised by the awards.

Catherine Cox, head of communications and policy for Family Carers Ireland, said: “Ireland’s family carers provide remarkable levels of care for their loved ones.

Their essential contribution to society – particularly during the past 18 months – deserves to be acknowledged and supported.

“When the country shut down, they stepped up and kept their loved ones safe at home.”

“The Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards are a timely opportunity for us all to honour the extraordinary work of each and every one of Ireland’s family carers who have contributed immensely in the fight against Covid-19 – often to the detriment of their own emotional, physical, social and financial wellbeing.

“As a society, it’s time we applaud the forgotten frontline of this pandemic and give them the recognition they so truly deserve.”

Nominations can be made online at, or call the National Freephone Careline on 1800 24 07 24 to request a nomination form by post.

Nominations should be submitted online or returned by post no later than Friday, October 22. Finalists will be announced in late October.