Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that there must be a firm commitment from the State to support family carers because too many carers go to bed at night wondering who will support their loved ones when they are gone.

Speaking in the Dáil last night, Teachta Crowe said:

“The biggest concern expressed to me by older carers, but not exclusively, relates to who will look after their loved ones when they are gone. They go to bed worrying about what will happen if something happens to them, and they probably wake up in the morning with the same nagging question. Things may have improved but most of us accept we have a long road to go.

“A constitutional referendum that simply refers to carers and then fobs them off with no real promise of support is absolutely useless.

“There has been an abject failure to modernise the provision of home supports and personal assistance services for people with disabilities. Words alone do not recognise the immense contribution to the common good of the unpaid work of family carers.

“Caithfimid tacú leo siúd atá ag tabhairt cúram do sheandhaoine agus do dhaoine faoi mhíchumas. Tá ár mbuíochas ag dul dóibh. Cuidíonn siad linn ar fad leis an gcúram sin agus sábhálann siad na céadta milliún euro don Stát. Tá ard-mheas agam orthu.

“There must be a firm commitment from the State to support family carers. We must relax the Carer’s Allowance means test and increase supports such as the Carer’s Allowance. We must set a date for the ratification of the optional protocol to the UNCRPD.

“Tá cearta cúramóirí ag teastáil seachas béalghrá sa Bhunreacht. Carers need rights, not empty words, in our Constitution.”