Dermot Early, Kim Kelly and her guide dog Jango
Former Kildare GAA footballer and proud Newbridge army man, Dermot Early, is backing this year’s Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind’s (IGDB) annual fundraising drive, tomorrow, Friday May 7.
Impressed by the work of the charity both here in Kildare and across Ireland, he has become an ambassador for the cause.
He was struck by the story of an Athy resident who lost her sight and came to rely on her guide dog.
“Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is a charity I became familiar with last year when I met Kim Murphy and her guide Jango.
“We all know the saying you never know what tomorrow brings. Well in Kim’s case it was a week from 20/20 vision to total blindness. More people lose their sight through disease, medications and accidents. What a shock and the life upheaval such an event will bring.”
He said he knows from speaking to Kildare volunteer of 32 years, Phil Geoghegan, that Kildare is, and continues to be most generous county in donating to the charity.
“At community level €1.3m has been raised. In County Kildare, much more support comes to IGDB through Puppy Raising Holding Brood bitches and holding Guide Dogs during periods of holiday sickness and this year support during Covid,” he said.
“The Assistance Dog program for families of children with autism is another example of the wonderful work carried out by Irish Guide Dog for the Blind.
“Going forward they wish to enhance their support for their medical detection and disability programs for the visually impaired. Please continue your generous support,” he urged.
Irish Guide Dogs is Ireland’s national charity dedicated to helping people who are vision impaired and families of children with autism to achieve improved mobility and independence.
Its national headquarters and training centre is located on the Model Farm Road two miles outside Cork City.
All of its training programmes are run at this location.
Some of its courses last up to three weeks, with clients staying at the centre for the duration of their training. Full aftercare is provided for all clients in their homes and communities.
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