Roscommon launch of Family Carers Ireland

Fallon hails ‘forgotten people’

Cllr. Laurence Fallon gave a ringing endorsement of the role carers play in society at the launch of a new association at Gleeson’s Townhouse, Roscommon town, on Monday, February 8.

  The event was the Roscommon launch of Family Carers Ireland, which involves the merging of the Carers’ Association and Caring for Carers.

  Cllr. Fallon, a family carer, said that, in many respects, carers were the “forgotten people” of today’s world, but that their job was invaluable. 

  “There is a great similarity between babies and people who need care. The only difference is that babies will grow up and they will be free of care after a while,” said the Rahara man.

  “With regard to people who are looking after a loved one, it is highly likely that it is an ongoing situation until the end of that person’s life, unlike babies, who grow up, go to school and the burden becomes less and less.

  “But, at the end of the day, the role of the carer is extremely important it is a serious challenge to most families.”

  A sizeable number of local politicians attended the launch, but Cllr. Fallon noted that there was a marked absence of carers present.

  However, he also said: “It’s not surprising that you don’t have carers here because the ability of carers to get out to other events has to be planned for many weeks in advance sometimes.”

  Cllr. Fallon said that carers were “virtually housebound”, so committed were they to their highly demanding role.

  The Independent politician launched the new association, which he said would fulfil a vital duty in advocating for carers.

  “Older people who are in need of care very often have lost their voice, so the carers’ association becomes voices for those people,” he said.

  “You advocating for a better role for carers means that people who need care have a better life. So, from that point of view, your role is extremely important and it should not be underestimated.”

  In formally launching the new association, Cllr. Fallon said that it would very helpful to amalgamate what were previously new different bodies.

  “There has to be advantages in bringing those groups together because it would bring a greater synergy than they were bringing as individual groups,” he said, before wishing the new body success in the future.

  Health Service Executive officials were also present, and Bernie Dowling, the Roscommon/Mayo area manager for Family Carers Ireland, said that her body wouldn’t be in existence if it weren’t for the HSE’s funding.

  Marian Keegan, a disability manager with the HSE, also heralded the amalgamation of the two associations.

  “From the HSE’s perspective, we very much welcome the merger because pooling of resources brings greater accountability and greater governance, and that is in the best interests of the organisation,” she said.

  “The merger will be for the betterment of carers.”

  She also said that the advocacy role of the association was very important, adding: “They have to have a voice for the most vulnerable.”