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21 Jan 2022

Honour for young Limerick carer Clodagh Bennett

Honour for young Limerick carer Clodagh Bennett

Award: Clodagh Bennett

A YOUNG Limerick woman who helped her siblings with autism, as her sister suffered through a bout of Covid-19 sickness, has been honoured for her tremendous character.

Only a teenager at the time, Limerick city resident Clodagh Bennett was put forward for the Netwatch Young Family Carer of the Year Award 2021 by her mam and has taken the Munster title.

“I’ve been helping out in the home all my life. My sister has mobility issues and needs help in and out of her room and the shower. She had Covid last year, so she was suffering with the aftereffects of the illness. While she was sick in the hospital, I was cooking and cleaning at home as mam was in there looking after her,” she said.

The 18-year-old, a graduate of Salesian College Pallaskenry, helps care for her three siblings. Aidan (22) is on the ASD spectrum and has mental health difficulties.

Niamh (20) is also on the ASD spectrum on a milder level with a moderate intellectual disability and epilepsy. Lastly, there is Saoirse who is also on the ASD spectrum and has some mental health difficulties.

Clodagh's mother Jessica stressed that “Clodagh plays a vital part in helping to care for them as well as commuting to college daily from Limerick to Thurles on the train.”

Clodagh is a first year student at MIC St Patrick’s Thurles. She is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in Irish and Business studies.

Despite her hectic timetable divided between travel and study, Clodagh still finds the time to ease the burden on her mother and provide sisterly affection and care to her three siblings.

Nominated by an immensely proud mother, Clodagh told the Leader that she was “completely shocked” upon learning that she was named Limerick and Munster’s Young Family Carer 2021.

Clodagh believes that having good listening skills and communicating as best you can is vital to the role.

“You have to adjust to whatever needs the person may have. Sometimes it will be tough, but you will always get through it,” the aspiring teacher and Limerick’s young family carer concluded.

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