Dear Mr Varadkar,

I can only comprehend how busy you are.

I and the people of Ireland appreciate what you have done for us since COVID 19 stormed our island. Compared with other leaders of countries I feel you, your team and colleagues have done your best and represented Ireland exceptionally well globally. We as a nation are a very spirited, charitable and a compassioned race with this in mind I would like to bring something of sincere importance to your attention.

This was the most up to date information I could find, but I’m sure you have the correct Census.

As Census 2016 was a no change census, the questions on caring in 2011 and 2016 are directly comparable. The census showed a total of 195,263 persons (4.1% of the population) were providing unpaid assistance to others, an increase of 8,151 (4.4%) on the 2011 figure of 187,112. Women made up just over 6 in 10 Carers (60.5%, 118,151 Carers) with 77,112 (39.5%) men. There were 3,800 children under 15 years engaged in providing care to others, accounting for 1.9 per cent of all Carers. Etc.

That’s a lot of Carers, Mr Varadkar and as you know it’s only the tip of the pyramid.

As Carers have always depended on frontline workers and along with other therapists have always appreciated them as they have enabled us to help our children to bring out the best of our child’s ability and have kept them alive for which we are forever grateful.

We are privileged to be in a position to provide help for our loved ones and we do this tirelessly with no break and 24-hour care. Some of my friends would love only to have a full night sleep.

We have to be more than parents for our children we have to do homework, physio, occupation health, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, sensory work, medical intervention and all we wanted was to be a Mother or Father.

We have always worried if someone sneezed next to our child or as we aged if someone sneezed next to us because if something happens to us then what happens to our child!

Believe me, An Taoiseach I could go on and on. I’m sure you have heard it all before but until it’s your child and your life and your family you couldn’t possibly understand as I can only barely comprehended the work of other Carers in this country.

I’m writing to you to ask you to appreciate us.

I am hoping that you could think of us when you address the nation. The ongoing care we provide is of the utmost importance and our mental and physical health is constantly taking a toll to provide the service we lovingly give.

People with additional needs, bring so much charity, understanding and compassion to the people of our country and to us they bring love, appreciation for the small things in life, hope and faith.

We Carers work to the very best of our abilities, let us not be forgotten but appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Dolores Myers.