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true heroes

These wonderful teenagers were honoured today at the Irish Carers of the Year Awards

Carers were described as Ireland’s “forgotten workforce”.

NO FEE 18 Family Carers Ireland awards Young Carers of the Year, Craig McSweeney (16) Una McNicholas (17) Sean Collins (13) Seaunfunmi Solanke (16). Mark Stedman Mark Stedman

TWENTY-FIVE FAMILY carers from around the country have been honoured at the 10th annual Carers of the Year Awards.

It’s estimated that there are 200,000 family carers across the country with the organisers of the awards describing these people as Ireland’s “forgotten workforce”.

As well as some regional awards, four regional young carers aged between 13 and 17 were also specially honoured.

Dorothy Meaney was named as Ireland’s Carer of the Year. She cares for her 31-year-old daughter Zondra who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a condition that affects all the systems of the body.

There are no specialists in Ireland to treat the condition forcing Dorothy and Zondra travel to the UK every 12 weeks for treatment.

Dorothy was also caring for her own mother who sadly passed away and was being buried today meaning Dorothy could not attend.

The awards were presented by Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan.

NO FEE 21 Family Carers Ireland awards Liz Collins from Terenure who cares for her daughter Claudia Scanlon (12). Mark Stedman Mark Stedman

NO FEE 15 Family Carers Ireland awards Una McNicholas from Lucan, Co. Dublin who helps care for her older sister Elizabeth. Mark Stedman Mark Stedman

NO FEE 13 Family Carers Ireland awards Seaunfunmi Solanke gets a kiss from her 13-year-old brother Moyo. Mark Stedman Mark Stedman

NO FEE 8 Family Carers Ireland awards Craig McSweeney helps care for his 26-year-old brother Cillian. Mark Stedman Mark Stedman

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