Gaia Charis

GAIA Charis from Castletownshend has been named runner up in the Family Carers’ second annual Caring for Carers Ireland poetry competition, the winners of which were announced at the Ennis Book Club Festival in County Clare during the weekend.

The nationwide poetry competition asked Family Carers to compose poems on the theme of springtime, representing renewal and new life.

Gaia Charis was runner up for her poem For Connor, on becoming a man, Spring 2012 dedicated to her son, who is autistic, while Noelle Dalton from Askeaton in Co. Limerick received first prize for her poem Twilight.

Brigid Barron, Research and Program Manager with Caring for Carers Ireland, said the purpose of the competition is to highlight the significant contribution made by thousands of Family Carers to Irish society.

“Recognising the role of Family Carers in the home is crucial,” Ms Barron said, “this form of care is the foundation of formal health and social care systems. Family Carers are a distinct group who provide care and also, very importantly, require care themselves.”

Caring for Carers Ireland is a national non-governmental organisation supporting Family Carers.

Its primary objective is to ensure that policy makers are aware of the key issues which impact on the lives of 161,000 Family Carers and influence their abilities to continue to provide care. For further information visit or call 065 686 6515.


For Connor, on becoming a man, Spring 2012

by Gaia Charis

my son smiles

in that fluttery sunshine

that February brings

like it’s practising for spring

his winter has been long

his own spring frozen in the darkness

of himself

but I waited

watching for signs


birds on the wing

and now here he stands

in sunshine

no words necessary

to say his spring has come