Roy of Rovers aids dog charity
ROY Keane's favourite charity managed to buck the recession by increasing the funding it received from the public.
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind increased the amount it got from voluntary income last year by 5pc from €2.2m to €2.3m.
Mr Keane has helped increase the charity's profile since taking on the role of ambassador 10 years ago.
Chief executive Padraig Mallon said: "Roy has helped create a greater awareness of the charity. His endorsement of us has been highly valuable. Roy is a winner. He is very genuine and he is very committed."
Last year, the charity trained 183 dogs -- the highest annual total to date.
"We are very pleased with last year. They are challenging times and we are 40pc down in funding from 2008. Last year, the situation stabilised,' said Mr Mallon yesterday.
However, he pointed out that the charity was depending on legacies to break even and the amount received by legacies last year totalled €482,000.
In total last year, the charity received €4m that included €1m in grant income.
Meanwhile, the charity will record a first this September by providing a trained guide dog to a visually impaired boy aged just 17.
The Bantry Leaving Cert student is to be the first student under 18 to be accompanied to school by such a trained dog.
"We are very excited about this. It is a first and the training has been going very well with the dog and the boy. This is very positive for the boy and his family," said Mr Mallon.
"Before now, all people who are accompanied by our trained dogs have been 18 or over."