Dogs of all shapes and sizes go walkies at the University of Limerick for charity

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

DOGS of all shapes and sizes including pretty Bichon Frises and hardy German Shepherds were taken on a one-hour outing around the grounds of the University of Limerick in aid of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

DOGS of all shapes and sizes including pretty Bichon Frises and hardy German Shepherds were taken on a one-hour outing around the grounds of the University of Limerick in aid of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

In the region of 120 walkers, aged from two years up to 82, took part in the family walk day on Sunday raising €650 for the national charity.

“It was well up on last year when we had about 25 walkers,” explained Tom Ryan from Ballybricken, the organiser of the Limerick event who took part in the fundraising endeavour with his Labrador, Ben.

The walk which lasted between 45 minutes and an hour began at the new pavilion at the university grounds before travelling towards the river and then onto the boathouse.

“From there we walked back towards the campus, over the Living Bridge and back again to the pavilion,” Tom explained.

“There was one man from Limerick who was blind. He was in his 60s or 70s and he walked with his wife and a guide dog. There was three or four guide dogs. It was good craic. We had coffees and teas in the pavilion afterwards,” he added.

Lean Kennedy from Raheen - who spoke to the Limerick Leader last week about losing her sight - also took part in the walk with her guide dog, Murphy.

The money raised on the day will go towards helping Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind to train more puppies to become guide and assistance dogs of the future.

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind would like to thank all the communities across the county who came out and supported the local dog walk and helped make it a huge success. “People braved the weather to join us and we really appreciate it, we have definitely built on last year’s success and we are already looking forward to next year’s event,” says Sinead O’Keeffe, commercial manager with IGDB. There are currently 10,240 people registered as blind in Ireland, 389 of these are based in Limerick with just under 1% as guide dog owners. For more information on Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind please see www.guidedogs.ie or call 1850 506 300.