Family Carers Ireland has launched its Netwatch “Family Carer of the Year Awards” for 2022.

The event was launched in the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin on 15 September, with broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan and Netwatch Brand Ambassador and rugby legend Mick Galwey in attendance.

Family Carers Ireland supports family carers across the country.

Communications and Campaigns Officer with Family Carers Ireland, Ruaidhri Kelly, emphasises how important it is to acknowledge family carers and their work.

“I think it’s very important. I suppose one of the challenges that family carers face is being properly recognised by the State, in terms of the work that they actually do. A lot of it is very much unseen and behind closed doors for a lot of society.

“While this is quite a small recognition of the work that they do day in, day out, I think it is important. It does help shine a light on work that’s done in homes right across the country,” he said.

Last year’s winner of the Young Carer of the Year Award, Evan Corbally, was at the launch with his younger sisters Rose and Aoibhín.

He expressed that winning the award took him by surprise, and that he appreciated his role as a young carer being acknowledged:

“So originally when I found out I won the award, I didn’t know I was nominated. I was coming home from school and Mam told me that not only had I been nominated, I had actually won the entire thing.

They really are the heroes of our country

“So it was a very nice surprise. It’s always nice to get some form of recognition for what I was doing.

“My two sisters are both autistic, so there’s a lot of work with that seeing as they can’t talk. All my work has come to minding them, and being a big brother as well. Helping them with day-to-day stuff, whether it’s going to the toilet, going to bed, bringing them outside if they get a little bit rowdy and need a change of scenery,” he explained.

Evan feels he has been more supported since winning the award, and hopes that other family carers can experience this as well.

“They have different services. We had a Zoom call there with one of the people from Family Carers, talking about my day-to-day life, what could be better, and how we could try to fix that.

“It was a very positive experience overall and hopefully other people will get to experience the same thing as I did.”

RTÉ presenter Miriam O’Callaghan revealed that when she was asked to become involved with the “Family Carer of the Year Awards”, she couldn’t turn down the opportunity to help:

“I know some people choose one or two charity events that they’re involved in, but I find it very difficult to say no. So I do quite a number, as I should.

“They just asked me to do this and I said of course, because I’ve met quite a lot of carers down the years. They really are the heroes of our country.

“I think it’s hugely important, because a lot of times people are stuck in their own homes, it’s incredibly hard work, it’s very lonely. When you interview carers, they’ll always say it’s really lonely. It’s relentless, you often don’t get any break, so I think for them to be acknowledged with an award like this is so important. I think it’s a brilliant idea.”

The closing date for nominations is 21 October. To find out more, visit