Speech by Cllr. Martin Lonergan at Tipperary Carer of the Year

I am delighted in my capacity of Mayor of the Borough District to be able to present the Tipperary Carer of the Year Award to a good friend of mine, Cahir’s Ann Marie Meany who looks after her mother, uncle and grandmother.

It is very important every year that we take time out to recognise the enormous contribution of Tipperary’s family carers with this award. I am delighted to present this much deserved award to Anne Marie, whose caring roles and strength on a daily basis are an inspiration to us all.

All over Tipperary, these quiet, private acts of love make a huge impact on our society and therefore deserve public protection and recognition.


And it is that inestimable element of love in our carer’s extraordinary work that sees them go the extra mile every time even when these men, women and often children are at the limits of their coping. This award recognises the commitment, the competence and indeed the authority of our carers in the care they give to loved ones.

I would like to pay tribute to the ongoing work of the Carers Association, under the guidance locally of my colleague Cllr. Richie Molloy in representing the interests of carers and providing valuable support and guidance to them.

It is extremely important that our older people and children and adults living with an illness or a disability can keep their dignity and their independence in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. Home community make us who we are. And everyone is entitled to that sense of home and comfort with their own people in their own place.

Home-based care by family members is the preference of the vast majority of people. And that care is not just the exhausting mechanics of washing feeding dressing exercise it’s the cups of tea the news brought home from work or school by children or grandchildren it’s the songs sung the shared life recorded remembered.

Family carers are the backbone of this Country. Most of us will be carers – or cared for – at some point in our lives. And it is the family carer who will continue to play a key role in supporting family members to live independent lives. It is therefore important that carers feel recognised supported and empowered.

This award does just that and I thank all involved in organising an important event such as this. I again congratulate Ann Marie, she is indeed a deserved winner and I wish her well at the National Awards later in the year.

Go raibh mile maith agaibh