Sunday 17 December 2017

Labrador Miles is undisputed top dog at Leinster House

Kevin Kelly with
guide dog Miles at
Leinster House in
Dublin yesterday
Kevin Kelly with guide dog Miles at Leinster House in Dublin yesterday

Linda McGrory

LEINSTER House has seen its fair share of shaggy dog stories but few as hairy as this.

The first ever guide dog to work in the corridors of power is proving a hit among Oireachtas members -- despite leaving blond hair all over the carpets.

Miles, a five-year-old golden labrador-retriever, is charming all before him as he goes about his daily duties at the Seanad.

He is a guide dog to Kevin Kelly, the 24-year-old parliamentary assistant to senator Mary Ann O'Brien.

Mr Kelly is the country's first blind parliamentary assistant, which makes Miles the first guide dog to work at Leinster House.

"Miles is a big fan of the carpets but I don't know what the cleaners in Leinster House think of him yet," said Mr Kelly.

"The staff in the other offices come in now and again to see him. He loves the attention."

The Co Donegal man lost his sight to a rare genetic retinal disorder 10 years ago.

But he has refused to let it get in the way of his passion for politics and communications.

A former Ogra Fianna Fail local branch co-founder, he has a degree in journalism from DCU and is awaiting a masters in public affairs and political communications from DIT.

Ms O'Brien said: "A lot of Kevin's brilliance can be put down to his own assistant. Miles keeps us in great company every day."

Irish Independent

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