‘Labour of love’ leads to Cork Carer award for Bandon woman
Bandon woman, Bernie O’Reilly has been named Cork Area Red Cross Carer of the Year 2015.

Bernie, who was nominated by Bandon branch, won the Leslie Bean de Barra Award, which acknowledges the hard work and dedication of informal carers in the home and the community.

John Barry, nominated by the Mallow branch, was also recognised for his work caring full time for his sister Maura over the past 5 years.

John and Bernie were the nominees for the award who and were both honoured at a special ceremony held in the Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig.

The event was attended by Irish Red Cross Chair, Pat Carey; National Secretary, Barry O'Donovan and National Treasurer Sheila Callan.

Bernie O’Reilly

Bernie has been a full time carer for her 28-year-old son Brendan for many years. Brendan is wheelchair-bound, and communicates through a computer screen activated by eye movement.

Irish Red Cross Cork Area Chair, Pat O’Connor said: “Her positive attitude, energy and her attention to Brendan’s every need brings him great happiness and he has a constant smile on his face. Bernie regards her caring of Brendan as a labour of love.

John Barry

John has been caring full time for his sister Maura for the past 5 years. Maura has been wheelchair bound since 2010. Having spent some time in a nursing home, John – who worked in Mallow Hospital – decided to resign his position and care for his sister full time in their own home.

Carer, John Barry, receives his award from Marie McSweeney, Cork Area Health & Social Care Officer
Carer, John Barry, receives his award from
Marie McSweeney, Cork Area Health & Social
Care Officer

 He attends to her every need seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

John and Maura are seen regularly on the streets of Mallow where they stop and have a chat with people. This brings great joy to Maura as she meets her many friends regularly as she herself worked in a ladies clothes shop in the town,” Pat said.

Bernie O'Reilly with the Leslie Bean de Barra Award. Pat O'Connor, Cork Area Chair (left) and Marie McSweeney, Cork Area Health & Social Care officer are alongside.
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