Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind Ambassador Roy Keane and his dog Jet helped to launch this year’s Guide Dog Day. Photo: Dave Phillips Photography

Roy launches Guide Dog Day

Well, if Roy has asked then it’d be rude not to!

Roy Keane has once again launched the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind's national fundraising campaign Guide Dog Day which will take place on Friday 7 May. This year the charity is asking everyone to get active by walking, running or swimming at 100km in May for Guide Dog Day - #100k4GDD - or to donate at

Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity successfully matched 60 guide dog and assistance dog partnerships in 2020.

This year the charity's resilient community of clients, volunteers and supporters are determined to change the lives of 80 people and are calling on the public to help.

Its breeding programme continues to grow with three litters successfully born so far this year. 105 puppies are currently being puppy raised. These pups will be the dogs who start formal training later in 2021 and during 2022.

39 pups currently undergoing formal training who will hopefully be successfully matched in the coming months.

Charity Ambassador Roy Keane said: "Having spoken to so many guide and assistance dogs owners over the years, it is amazing to see what the dogs do – the impact they have on individuals and their families. These dogs are giving people back their lives. I'm would encourage everyone to do the #100K4GDD Challenge – I'll be doing it here in Manchester!”

Tim O'Mahony, General Manager of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind said: “Our guide and assistance dogs enable people to lead independent lives and to actively participate in their communities; Guide Dog Day is a celebration of that. The funds raised in May will mean 80 people's lives will be changed before the end of the year.”

The #100k4GDD Challenge

- Walk, run or swim 100km during the month of May

- Fundraising packs for the first 3,000 entries

- Anyone raising over €50 through the Raisely fundraising platform will be entered into a prize draw

Sinead and Fargo

Sinead McSweeney outlines how her guide dog Fargo helps her:

“I am visually impaired and have had the great privilege of having my guide dog Fargo for almost two years.

“Since I have had him, I am much more confident and, with his help and assistance on a daily basis, I am able to go out more freely by myself and with my. Fargo needs lots of exercise which enables and encourages me to take daily exercise which benefits me and my family. I have had the added security of knowing he is there with me to assist me. Also, I am never alone when I am accompanied by Fargo. As a mental health nurse, Fargo travels with me to work on a daily basis, he also accompanies me on public transport.

“At work everyone admires Fargo as he is such a pleasant and placid dog. He seems to have a calming effect on us all. I am very grateful to the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind for the great opportunity of having Fargo in my life.”