Fine Gael MEPs have congratulated Family Carers Ireland on winning the prestigious European Citizen’s Prize 2020, as announced today (Friday). The Fine Gael MEPs nominated the Irish charity for the award last year in order to highlight and pay tribute to the vital role of carers in society. In welcoming the accolade, Seán Kelly, Deirdre Clune, Frances Fitzgerald, Colm Markey and Maria Walsh described family carers as “the epitome of community spirit and EU values” in dedicating so much of themselves to the health and well-being of their families. The award recognises projects or individuals that promote cross-border cooperation and EU values.
“We have many, many wonderful people in Ireland who have dedicated a big part of their lives to going above and beyond in caring for their loved ones. In some cases, family members ranging from children to older persons, can be completely dependent on their carers for every need and often have very specific medical conditions that require special treatment. “These carers are exceptional people – our, often, hidden heroes. They give their energy, time and love to others every day in order to ensure comfort and quality of life for their family at home. Family Carers Ireland do tremendous work in supporting and promoting the health, wellbeing and quality of life of family carers and those for whom they care”, said Seán Kelly MEP, leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament. “We believe family carers are incredibly deserving winners of the European Citizen’s Prize 2020, and while it is not enough, the award is a way to honour, highlight and pay tribute to our carers at an EU level”, he added.
In proposing the charity for the award, the MEPs pointed out that carers, even more than most people, have endured great hardships during the Covid-19 restrictions and necessary quarantining, given the health risks for those they care for. The Fine Gael MEPs have also congratulated Irish Girl Guides Europe Badge project which has also been awarded the 2020 European Citizens Prize. The European Parliament intends to hold the formal 2020 European Citizens Prize awards ceremony in conjunction with the 2021 awards ceremony later this year, most likely in November if health guidelines allow.