Roy Keane travelled to the Tyndall National Institute, Cork to mark the launch of our Heroes Appeal which starts on April 6th.  Our Annual Heroes fundraising appeal will see our volunteers and staff collecting nationwide to raise much-needed funds to support our work with people who are blind or vision impaired and the families of children with autism. The funds raised will go towards training Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs.

Tyndall National Institute, as world leaders in Nano Technology, was chosen as the location for the launch as they are supporting us in developing new sensor based technologies that they hope will support training and help create more life changing Guide and Assistance Dogs partnerships.

Speaking about the launch of HEROES, Roy Keane said “I am delighted to support the HEROES appeal for Irish Guide Dogs. Over the years, I have witnessed the incredible bond between these heroic dogs and their owners, a partnership which transforms and saves lives.  It is amazing to be here in Tyndall to see how the work they do can have an impact on a family with autism or a person with a vision impairment.”

Roy continues “This project will help us create more Future Heroes! I’m asking the public to please support Irish Guide Dogs so that more people can enjoy the freedom and independence that these wonderful dogs provide”.

The project with Tyndall titled Guide Dog 4.0 is designed to support us in identifying potential Guide and Assistance Dogs earlier in the training process, to remotely monitor dog health and to help shorten the period taken to train a Guide or Assistance Dog. One of the many benefits of this work is that it will reduce the amount of time which Clients will wait for one of our life changing services.The project is looking at sensor based wearable technology that will isolate specific readings from the dogs.  This data will then support trainers in better understanding the dog’s behaviour leading to better outcomes from the training process.

Padraig Mallon, our CEO says “Our goal is to raise more than €150,000 from our HEROES appeal. Every donation helps us to train more Guide and Assistance dogs.  We see every day the life changing effects our dogs have on our Clients and we understand how hard it is for those waiting for our services.  We want to get to these people sooner and the funds raised in April will be a great help.”

Padraig continues: “When we set out on a national appeal of this scale it is important we recognise the hard work that goes into it from our Staff, our Volunteers and Clients who will be on the streets, shops and workplaces doing their best to make it a success. We are very grateful to them, to Roy Keane and to Ford Ireland – we have a great team.

This year’s HEROES appeal is also being supported by Ford Ireland as part of an expansion of their already strong links with us.  Speaking at the recent announcement of the partnership renewal, Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland, said: “We are hugely proud of the long-standing partnership with Irish Guide Dogs – the charity’s work is literally life-changing for the hundreds of people throughout the country who have a Guide or Assistance Dog that has been trained by Irish Guide Dogs. We are delighted to support the staff and volunteers at Irish Guide Dogs in the valuable work they do”.

How to support HEROES:


Text WOOF to 50300 to donate €4.

(Irish Guide Dogs will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278)

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Buy one of our PAWsome Heroes pins online (click here) or at our street collections.

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Limerick City on April 6th and 7th
Dublin City on April 6th and 7th
Cork City on April 7th and 12th
Galway City on April 7th

See the full details of our nationwide collections here.


Written By

Tom Williams


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