Hugh Hilliard (17) from Clara is pictured on the extreme right picking up his Netwatch Leinster Young Carer of the Year award with Miriam O'Callaghan and other winners.

Clara teenager is named Leinster Young Carer of the Year

A Clara teenager has been named Netwatch Leinster Young Carer of the Year today.

Hugh Hilliard (17) received the accolade at the national awards ceremony in The Westin Hotel, Dublin and hosted by broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan.

Hugh’s mother passed away in 2020 after being diagnosed with a tumour and since then he’s taken on the role of being his sister, Ellen’s primary carer.

Ellen has autism and requires significant support. Hugh helped his dad, David, get to know Ellen’s routine and how to look after her care needs.

Hugh has been a strong advocate for young carer supports and, speaking at the Young Carers Forum on Young Carers Action Day in March 2022, he encouraged other young people with caring responsibilities to link in with Family Carers Ireland for support.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Policy, Family Carers Ireland, said: “Although these awards highlight the remarkable dedication of a few, we’re really honouring all of Ireland’s family carers who go the extra mile every day in caring for their loved ones at home.

"Their stories are ones of love, kindness, empathy and selflessness. As a society, we must ensure that we listen to those stories, that we recognise the essential contribution made by family carers and that they are truly supported to care safely at home.

“As a charity, we firmly believe that no one should have to care alone. We want family carers to know that they are not alone and that we are here to help them no matter where they find themselves on their caring journey,” she added.

Mick Galwey, Netwatch Brand Ambassador, said everyone nominated for this award has done something special, and is someone special, who goes above and beyond what is expected of them.

"We have been so humbled today to hear of the many examples where family carers go to extraordinary lengths to care for their loved ones and we are grateful for the opportunity to help recognise and celebrate those individuals,” he concluded.