February 25, 2021
Who cares for family carers? – Pauline Tully TD

Speaking in response to the failure to prioritise family carers in the updated vaccine sequencing plan, Sinn Fein TD for Cavan-Monaghan Pauline Tully expressed her deep dismay and frustration that the government has once again ignored carers many of who have had to isolate and act as sole carer since the very start of the pandemic.

Teachta Tully said:

“Who cares for the family carers?

“We know it is definitely not the present government as they have completely ignored their pleas to be prioritised in the vaccine sequencing plan.

“While it is welcome that many patients aged 16-69 with serious underlying health conditions up the priority list based on advice from NIAC, the fact that family carers are not even mentioned in the revised listing is deplorable.

“Family carers have gone above and beyond throughout this pandemic to keep their loved ones safe at home and out of our overburdened hospitals.

“It is unfair that family carers are being treated differently to paid care workers who are prioritised for the vaccine.

“I would echo the words of Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Policy at Family Carers Ireland who said: 

“The fact that family carers have once again been ignored is devastating. They were cast aside for PPE, they were ignored for priority testing and now they are being ignored for vaccinations. What message does that send out? How does that show that we value and recognise the work that family carers do? The programme for Government clearly states “Family carers are the backbone of care provision in Ireland. They deserve support and recognition from Government”.  Sadly, actions speak louder than words and today our Government has failed family carers. We need family carers included as a priority group for vaccinations now because carers can’t wait!”

“This is desperately frustrating for family carers, many of who have had to isolate and act as sole carer since the very start of the pandemic and have no prospect at the moment of being able to get back to some sort of normality to near the end of the year if they do not get prioritise in the plan.”