A safe haven for donkeys

donkey-2

Posted on: 8th November, 2016

Category: Features

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

Above: The ‘adoption’ donkeys wait patiently at the fence to say hello to their supporters and bask in the attention they receive.

With more than 40 million donkeys in the world, it’s little wonder that this hard-working much-loved animal features in so many classic children’s tales ranging from the Christmas nativity story to an Aesop’s fable to Winnie the Pooh. The popular Christmas carol ‘Little Donkey’ is an all-time favourite.

Sadly these gentle animals with pointed ears and comical braying voices are often neglected, abandoned or mistreated throughout Ireland. Mary O’Brien visits The Donkey Sanctuary in Mallow.

“We are currently caring for 1,803 donkeys, which unfortunately is on the increase every year,” explains Triona O’Mahony. “Last year was our busiest to date, as we rescued over 500 donkeys in the year; most from terrible conditions where the donkeys were left in a field, bog or forestry with long, overgrown hooves. Many of the donkeys that we rescue these days are in large groups because of indiscriminate breeding and mares producing a foal each year; all too often they are in-bred with complicated health issues but thankfully the Sanctuary is available for them and our trained staff and volunteers are on hand 24/7 to provide expert care.”

Set in the beautiful rolling countryside of County Cork, just outside the village of Liscarroll, a typical day at The Donkey Sanctuary begins with the staff checking all donkeys and giving them their breakfast. Then the mucking out begins for the farm staff and the vet rounds for the veterinary team to ensure all donkeys are feeling fit and healthy.

The staff members at the visitor centre meet and greet over 50,000 visitors every year from all over the world. The ‘adoption’ donkeys wait patiently at the fence to say hello to their supporters and bask in the attention they receive. They can be adopted or sponsored for just €20 per year – this helps The Sanctuary to maintain a high level of care and welfare towards all of its animals.

“Our Sanctuary is often full with gleeful little foals that are born here when we rescue pregnant mares,” says Triona. “We offer the foal the same sanctuary as the mare and once they are in the gate here they are guaranteed a long and happy life with us.”

The Sanctuary also has a rehoming scheme; 450 donkeys have already been rehomed throughout the country to loving homes – private homes, nursing homes, creches, schools, therapy centres and so on. The benefits to both donkeys and guardians are endless, as donkeys make wonderful pets.

“Our supporters and volunteers are absolutely incredible and have kept the organisation going for all of this time and we are forever grateful to them for their loyalty and support,” says Triona.

Paddy Barrett opened The Donkey Sanctuary in 1987. Paddy’s father Garrett was a welfare officer in the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) from 1964 to 1981 and worked tirelessly to help donkeys and animals throughout Ireland. Paddy himself worked as an inspector for the ISPCA for a number of years, whilst at the same time running a rescue centre for donkeys in Ireland.

The Donkey Sanctuary will hold a Christmas Craft and Food Fair on Sunday, November 27 from 12pm. It promises a unique experience, whereby visitors will get the opportunity to browse at over 30 stalls, as well as meet the beautiful donkeys. It’s only up the road from West Cork so if you get the chance, do visit.

The Donkey Sanctuary is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-4.30pm. Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, 10am-5pm.

For more information on The Donkey Sanctuary go to thedonkeysanctuary.ie or call 022 48398.

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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