Despite recurring concerns about the role and appropriate support of informal carers, little is known about the parental experience of caring for children with learning disabilities in Ireland. This study describes and analyses the nature and consequences of care and coping among parents of children (<16) with learning disabilities living in the Greater Dublin area. Participants ( n = 32) completed the Caregiver Strain Questionnaire and an adapted version of the Carers Questionnaire which assessed: care tasks/behavioural difficulties; caregiver attitudes; service provision; and coping strategies. Qualitative analysis examined factors affecting carers' ability to cope. Participants showed high levels of objective and subjective caregiver strain and most were receiving inadequate support. However, parents employed a range of strategies to help them cope more effectively. The qualitative data highlighted the difficulties and rewards of caregiving and the inadequacies of current service provision.