Irish Guide Dogs For The Blind Praised by Ireland's President

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (IGDB) is a national charity dedicated to helping persons who are blind or vision impaired and families of children with autism to achieve improved mobility and independence. It is celebrating its 40th anniversary and Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins has praised the work of the organisation. He talked of the many people who have benefited from the important work of the IGDB:

“Through your hard work and commitment you have helped to instill, in many citizens living with disabilities, the expectation that they too can succeed, can aspire to live the life of their choice, have their voices heard, their talents respected and be defined by their skills and abilities and all of their possibilities.”

President Higgins also acknowledged the work and generosity of all its supporters including IGDB patron Irish football assistant manager and former professional football player Roy Keane. He gave him a special mention pointing to :“the significant amount of time and commitment from Roy Keane”. The IGDB was co-founded in 1976 by the late Mary Dunlop and current president Jim Dennehy. At a time when there was desperate need in Ireland for the training of guide dogs for blind and vision impaired people living in Ireland.

Since then IDGB has sought to expand its services to those who are vision impaired and families of children with autism. Over 80% of its income comes through voluntary donations and fund raising through a network of volunteers across the country. It is estimated that the cost to run the organisation this year will be over €4 million, with services offered free of charge and providing full aftercare and support to clients. So the work of volunteers and fundraisers can never be underestimated. The tribute paid by the President to their ‘hard work and commitment’ is very welcome and justified.

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