Dubs down on the farm to help raise funds for Bóthar Christmas charity

Jim Gavin, Stephen Cluxton and Michael Darragh Macauley as they visited Shelton Abbey prison and calves being sent to Africa.
Jim Gavin, Stephen Cluxton and Michael Darragh Macauley as they visited Shelton Abbey prison and calves being sent to Africa.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has issued a final Christmas appeal to help raise funds for a New Year’s airlift by aid agency Bóthar of food-and-income producing Irish cows to impoverished African families.

The Dublin manager crossed county boundaries into Wicklow, to Shelton Abbey open prison, with All-Ireland captain Stephen Cluxton and Michael Darragh Macauley to see where many of the Irish cows that have been sent by Bóthar to impoverished African families in countries like Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo have been reared.

The open, low-security prison houses males aged from 19 years who are regarded as requiring lower levels of security and for the past nine years, as part of a restorative justice programme, have reared almost 1,500 animals that have been transported to African nations and the Balkans.

The trio, after getting an induction from Shelton farm manager Tom Gregan to the work that the prisoners do daily in hand-rearing the animals, met with inmates and family members.

The livestock aid agency is seeking a final push from the public for its Christmas fund-raising programme which will go towards an airlift of cows to Rwanda in January.

The animals will be donated to widows of the Rwandan atrocity of 1994, which claimed the lives of almost 1million people in 90 days.

The Dublin manager joined Bóthar on its 25th anniversary airlift in October to the African nation and witnessed first-hand the life-changing impact the Irish cows have on impoverished families there.

Gavin said that he saw for himself first-hand only two months ago just how much an Irish cow can turn a lives around.

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“The beauty of this programme is that these animals begin making a difference from when they are very young. The prisoners who hand-rear them get a sense of responsibility and a sense of what it is to do good, which is important as part of their rehabilitation. And that’s before they are sent to Africa where they have a life-changing impact."

“The Shelton team run a very impressive operation. They had novice farm hands today but the guys got stuck in and got a great insight as to how important the programme is. I would just ask now that anyone who hasn’t made their mind up yet as to the Christmas present they are going to buy for a loved one to consider donating to Bóthar’s campaign as it really does transform lives.”

The animals have either been donated by dairy farmers across Ireland, purchased by donors through Bóthar’s online gift shop or by groups such as schools and community organisations.

Over the past 25 years, the organisation has delivered thousands of animals annually to families in 35 countries across Africa, Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. 

Online Editors

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