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Urgent call to Kinsale for Guide Dog Support

(JJ Hurley )



 The Kinsale Branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind has issued an urgent call to support their annual fundraising efforts at Smith's SuperValu, Kinsale, on Friday, May 24th.


Since its inception just over a year ago, the Kinsale Branch of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and assistance dogs has not only become a part of the community but has also touched the hearts of its residents.


Two of its branch members, Liam and Geraldine Hennessey, along with the other volunteers in Kinsale are anxious to raise funds urgently.


'The cost of training a single dog is in the region of €53,000, with the overall cost of the centre in Ballincollig costing in the region of €5 million per annum, with 80% of that funding coming from donations,’ remarked Liam.  


The couple is grateful to the public's generosity in Kinsale, with a recent bingo evening proving extremely successful.


In addition, Kinsale Rugby Club nominated the voluntary organisation as its partner charity for the Annual Rugby Sevens event.


Walsh Print and Graphics, Clonakilty, most recently came to their aid at the rugby sevens event, providing several magnetic signs displaying the charity's logo, which can be used for vehicles without the appropriate markings.



The Hennessys came to the programme because, at the time, fostering a dog in training was a solution as having one permanently wasn't, but now those circumstances have changed.


Subsequently, they adopted a dog that they had fostered.


She was too timid to progress in her training, and Peppa has now become a permanent fixture in their home and an ambassador for the charity.


While fostering a puppy is a commitment, Liam said, 'When you meet the people who have the assistance dogs, and they change their lifestyle, they can leave the house and go places they could never go before, it's such a positive impact.'


There are several options for those thinking of fostering a dog, either before it begins training, during training, or as a respite provider. 



Each volunteer who agrees to become involved in the programme is assessed, and guidelines for the dog's training regime are laid out, but the couple describe the reward as very satisfying.


To learn more about the Kinsale branch, visit its Facebook page, Irish Guide Dogs Kinsale Branch.



Photo Liam Hennessy with Ambassador Dog Peppa, Robert Walsh from Walsh Print and Graphics Clonakilty, Geraldine Hennessy and Ken Walsh with guide dog Marley


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