Clonmel’s Jack Cooney will be interviewed on RTÉ's The Late Late Show on Friday night (November 24).
Proud 10-year-old Jack, who was honoured with the first-ever Tipperary Young Carer of the Year Award earlier this month, will continue celebrations on RTÉ One’s The Late Late Show on Friday night (November 24) where he will be interviewed by Ryan Tubridy.
Jack, the son of Linda McCarthy and James Cooney, cares for older brother James (16) who has cerebral palsy.
Speaking to The Nationalist, Jack highlights his special relationship with James. “We have a fantastic bond, and I never thought we would get this far and win the Munster Young Carer of the Year Award,” Jack admits.
“We do lots of fun activities like bowling on a Saturday. On a day to day basis we play football together and go for a walk if it’s sunny. When it’s raining we go swimming or I read a book to James,” Jack smiles.
Jack is “fair nervous” ahead of featuring on The Late Late Show, but is thrilled to be given the opportunity to tell his story to the country. “I couldn’t ask for a better brother,” he adds.
Tipperary and Munster Young Carer of the Year Jack Cooney with Marty Whelan and Mary Kennedy.
Proud mother Linda says Jack is “unbelievable” to James and highlights the “special bond” the brothers share.
"Jack helps get James ready for school at Scoil Aonghusa in Cashel everyday. He puts on James’ favourite music, lies in bed and reads to him, and always makes sure he is ok. They go swimming and play football in the garden together - James is in a wheelchair and always goes in goal but he loves it,” Linda highlights.
“Jack is always worrying about his older brother. If he is going to a match at the weekend he’ll make sure that it isn’t too cold to have James outdoors. I’m always trying to shield Jack and tell him ‘It’s ok, I can do it’ but he insists on caring for his brother. Jack doesn’t see James as being different to anyone else, and the special bond they share makes me unbelievably proud,” Linda smiles.
Linda feels Jack is “completely different” to other kids his age. “We have video footage of a two-year-old Jack pushing James around in his wheelchair. Jack goes to all of James' school plays and helps him prepare for the Special Olympics. He is honoured to receive the Tipperary Young Carer of the Year Award [and the Munster Young Carer of the Year Award], and it's only now that his friends in fourth class and teachers at Rathkeevin National School realise how much help he gives James,” she adds.