| 10.8°C Dublin

Star Glen offers to help save animal clinic

SINGER-songwriter Glen Hansard has come to the aid of a charity animal clinic in his native Ballymun but his efforts are being frustrated.

Glen has offered to stump up a year's rent for the voluntary clinic but the Dogs Aid Assisi charity can't find any premises.

On New Year's Eve the vet and veterinary nurses worked from the back of a van in the car park of the Local Youth Reach Education Centre on Ballymun Road.


"The centre have been brilliant," said Martina Kenny of Dogs Aid.

"But it's only a temporary arrangement and they close during the holidays so we have to operate from the car park."

Three vets offer their services free to local people in Ballymun at the clinic which has been running every Tuesday night for the past 25 years.

They had been using accommodation in the last remaining tower block at Ballymun but had to move when that was demolished.

For six weeks they operated from a car park in Ballymun. Then they were offered temporary accommodation at the youth centre.

"Unfortunately the centre is to be redeveloped once the funding is available and then we will have to move again so we don't know how long we can stay here – one month, two months, six months, we just don't know," Martina said.

She explained that Glen Hansard had seen an RTE documentary on the clinic when it had to leave the Ballymun Tower.

"He's from Ballymun and he rang and asked what he could do to help," she said.

"He's offered to help us with the rent for a year but the trouble is we can't get anywhere to rent.

"We were looking at one place but it would take about €25,000 to get it to the point where it was rentable because it has no electricity and no running water.

"We don't make any money. The vets and nurses give their services and we only charge the cost of the medicines.

"It has to be in Ballymun so we're close to the people who need us and it's only for one night a week – every Tuesday – but we've hit a blank wall."

Martina says on an average night they treat up to 50 animals and the vet on duty doesn't leave until the last animal is treated.

Anyone who can help is asked to contact marti@littlebigdog.ie