Retired Guide Dog Rory having the chats with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind Ambassador Roy Keane. Photos: John Allen

Roy launches paw-some campaign

Cork legend Roy Keane was once again on hand to launch this year’s Guide Dog Day.

The fundraising campaign by the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind's takes place on 27 May and this year the charity is asking everyone to walk, run or swim 100km in May.

Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity said it successfully matched 73 guide dog and assistance dog partnerships in 2021 and placed four community dogs in schools and facilities around the country. This year the charity's resilient community of clients, volunteers and supporters, who are able to return to on-street fundraising, are determined to change the lives of 85 families and are calling on the public to help.

Tim O'Mahony, CEO of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, said: “This year Guide Dog Day will see our community of Volunteers nationwide finally back out in their localities doing on-street collections and other event and activities. The funds raised in May will mean 85 families’ lives will be changed before the end of the year which is a tremendous incentive.”

100km during the month of May is the recommended distance but participants may choose a higher figure, or a much lower figure may represent a significant challenge. Whatever distance, by taking part in the challenge you’re helping to change lives.

Those wishing to take part can sign up at

Some figures

• The breeding programme continues to grow with four litters successfully born to the end of March this year.

• 108 puppies are currently being puppy raised. These pups will be the dogs who start formal training later in 2022 and during 2023.

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

• 97 families on the waiting list for the Assistance Dog Programme.