Sinn Féin TD for Meath West, Johnny Guirke,  has told Meath Live that family carers should be paid the same €1000 bonus payment as carers in other sectors.

He told Meath Live, “Family Carers do important work all of the time but they deserve particular recognition for all the additional work they have undertaken in the past two years in very difficult circumstances.  “Family carers are the forgotten frontline who protect our health service on an ongoing basis by providing care to loved ones. This important care saves the state billions of Euro every year.

“Many family carers were left feeling isolated and abandoned by the government during the pandemic. Practically all supports were withdrawn during the pandemic with day services and centre-based respite services initially withdrawn entirely, and only returning on a severally reduced capacity.

” Informal respite from other relatives was also cut off as an option as family members were forced to isolate during the pandemic. Family carers were also not considered for PPE provision or vaccine prioritisation.“Family carers are left behind by the government too often and cannot be forgotten again. Minister McGrath must do the right thing and extend this Covid recognition payment to family carers.

“Family carers do not get the benefit of public holidays. Their role is 24/7. Therefore, they will not benefit from an additional day’s holiday this year. It is important that they receive this payment, in recognition of their work.“The government must give family carers the recognition they deserve. I am calling on the government and Minister McGrath to do the right thing and reconsider their exclusion.”