A teenager who just last month was handed an award for his work as a long-term carer for his mother says they will have nowhere to go if they are evicted from their Wicklow home.
19-year-old Conor Byrne was named Netwatch Leinster Young Carer of the Year in November in recognition of the 11 years of care he has given his mother Ann since she suffered a stroke.
Just days after winning the award, however, it emerged that they are facing homelessness with their landlord selling the house and the council struggling to find anywhere that can cater for Ann’s needs.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon said they are not sure what will happen in the coming weeks.
“We've almost joked about living in the car or something like that but I suppose that would probably be the only option if it comes to it,” he said. We don't have anywhere else to go.”
He said his mother’s needs have made it extremely difficult for the council to find them anywhere to go.
“It's 13 years now we've spent in the home we're in, but our landlord is selling the house and it's very difficult because of my mum's stroke, her disability,” he said.
“She does need certain things in the house, i.e a stairlift or a bungalow, and the Council is trying to find a location, but of course, because of the housing crisis, there just isn't any.
“Our landlord has been extremely nice and we do feel bad for him because we're stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“We do want to move out and let the landlord have his house, but we also have nowhere to go and the Council don't have anywhere to give us, so it's a sticky situation at the minute.”
Conor is currently attending UCD in Dublin in addition to his carer responsibilities and he is determined to do as well as he can to provide for his mother into the future.
“I do worry about it a lot but you know, worrying, I suppose it won't get me anywhere,” he said.
“So, I try and balance college and caring for my mum as best as I can because I know if I do well in college and I get myself a nice job, I can hopefully get my mum a house one day as well and my own house.
“So, I suppose I'm keeping my head down, studying as much as I can to try and get out of the system and make my own way as well.”
Conor said he is now waiting for a court order to find out when they have to leave their home.
“That's one of the most anxiety-inducing things because it might come next week, it might come in two weeks, we just don't know,” he said.
“I'd be hoping that it would be after Christmas, but we're not too sure yet.”
He said the stress is not good for his mother’s condition so he tries to shoulder as much responsibility as possible.
“The more stress she gets, the more she forgets, the more her health deteriorates,” he said.
“So I try and take on as much as I can for my mum, but obviously, it's hard to balance it out, so she does get quite stressed.
“That's when she really starts to lose her memory; she does get quite fatigued after that.
“It's a lot for her to take on, it's a lot for myself to take on, so it's trying to find the balance and she's not doing too well.
“She has other medical conditions as well now with her gallbladder and it's not the best at the minute, but we're trying to make it work.”
Carer of the Year
Conor was among five young people to be honoured at the Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards.
The awards heard that he has sacrificed his social life without complaint to care for his mother – handling household responsibilities finance and diligently overseeing her care.
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