Mark Darmody says Carers Allowance should not been seen as a Social Welfare payment

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A Tipperary father has hit out at the perception that the Carers Allowance is a form of Social Welfare.

Mark Darmody from Ardfinnan addressed the Oireachtas Committee on Autism yesterday together with his 12 year old daughter Cara.

Her younger brothers Neil and John are severely autistic and non-verbal.

Mark told the committee meeting in Leinster House how having to apply for the Carers Allowance for families with autistic children was wrong.

“Carer’s to me is not welfare – like you have a 24/7 job. I look back now to when I might have only worked eight hours a day – God be with the days. So when people say to us have a nice weekend – we don’t have a nice weekend.

“We’re now talking about people like my wife (Noelle) who is going to be caring for someone for the rest of her life on this earth. That’s the reality when you have a very young child who was diagnosed at 1¾ and she’s put into the caring career. And that’s essentially what it is – it needs to be treated almost like a career. It needs to be treated fairly.”