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Lack of support keeps carers in ‘crisis mode’

A SOUTH Galway mother is calling on the Government to provide more support for parents of children with special needs, who she says are at breaking point. Sonja Luan Devine’s son, Ché O’Grady, is 11-years-old and suffers from cerebral palsy. Since he was born, as well as being his mother she is also his carer but because Ché’s needs are so great, Sonja is unable to work and finds it difficult to make ends meet. “People have no clue how tightly families with children with special needs are squeezed. Even the fact the dole is the same as carer’s allowance is, quite frankly, insulting on a very deep level. Because I have a partner, I get half the carer’s allowance so I get €100 per week. A trip to the hospital in Dublin could cost €150,” she says. Even if she had the time to work, Sonja doesn’t believe anyone would hire her. “I don’t think I’m employable at the …

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