Limerick charity Bothar launches €7m fundraising drive to mark its 21st birthday

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Bóthar have launched their 21st anniversary programme of events on the farm where they received their first heifer in 1991.

Bóthar have launched their 21st anniversary programme of events on the farm where they received their first heifer in 1991.

Peter Ireton, Bóthar’s recently retired CEO, returned to the Doody farm in Kilballyowen, Bruff.

“The late Tim Doody was the very first person to come up to us at our first meeting and pledge a heifer which was sent on our very first airlift. That’s a lovely link with the past,”

“We are particularly delighted this year to be receiving a donation of a calf, which will be airlifted next year, from Eileen Doody and her family in Bruff,” said Mr Ireton.

Mrs Doody said she couldn’t believe that it’s 21 years since they donated Bothar’s first animal.

“We’re delighted to have that link with them. It doesn’t seem like 21 years.

“Tim certainly wouldn’t have believed back then that it (Bothar) would turn in to an organisation of this scale, doing so much work for starving people across the world and he’d be very proud today with what Bothar has achieved.

“Times are tough here in Ireland at the moment, but the people that will receive our calf in 18 months really know what tough times are. We can’t forget as a nation that there are others so much worse off than we are in Ireland, and it is great to help them out,” said Mrs Doody.

On the farm Mr Ireton announced an ambitious €7m fundraising drive to mark its 21st year of operations.

It starts with an Easter Appeal aimed at raising over €160,000 to cover the cost of airlifting 140 Irish heifers which have been committed by Irish farmers for families in Rwanda.

Next on the list Mr Ireton will mark his 60th birthday with a sponsored 60km Siul go dti Seasca walk along the river Shannon system on Saturday, April 21.

Bóthar was established in Limerick in 1991 as an initial one-off gesture to airlift cows to 20 families in a poverty stricken region of Uganda to mark the city’s Treaty 300 celebrations.

“What’s been achieved since has been nothing short of phenomenal as we now have an organisation that is the second largest livestock aid organisation in the world, lifting over 6,000 families from destitution every year,” said Mr Ireton, who added that the farming community always comes up trumps in terms of donating livestock.

“We have had amazing support over the years and many people not familiar with Bóthar may be surprised to know that the majority of our fundraising, in fact, comes from urban areas, we are so lucky to have such loyal support,” said Mr Ireton.

Bóthar CEO, David Moloney, said the need to battle global poverty is as great as ever.

“I have seen Bóthar grow from an organisation with an annual income of just €125,000 to one that this year hopes to raise €7million for destitute families all over the developing world,” said Mr Moloney.

For more on their fundraising events log on to www.bothar.org