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Mike the Donkey has good reason to smile

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Mike Fleming, Declan Mangan and Suzanne Gibbons pictured with the smiling donkey, Mike, after it was rescued from the River Laune

Mike Fleming, Declan Mangan and Suzanne Gibbons pictured with the smiling donkey, Mike, after it was rescued from the River Laune

Mike Fleming, Declan Mangan and Suzanne Gibbons pictured with the smiling donkey, Mike, after it was rescued from the River Laune

kerryman

Meet Mike the Donkey, the Internet star who can thank his lucky stars that he’s on solid ground today. That’s because a brave band of volunteers came to his rescue on the fast flowing River Laune near Killorglin on Sunday evening.

The alarm was raised shortly after lunchtime during the height of Storm Desmond on Sunday when Suzanne Gibbons of Animal Haven Animal Rescue picked up her phone.

“I got a call to say a donkey was in danger and no one would help save him. I must have phoned around 20 people and they all said it was too dangerous. I have a fear of water but I didn’t give a damn today.”

Just when it seemed that no one was prepared to help, Mike Fleming of Killorglin Rowing Club and Declan Murphy bravely answered the call as they took to the dangerous waters to help save the distressed animal.

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“I couldn’t get anyone to help, but this lovely man Mike Fleming from Killorglin Rowing Club said “come on, we’ll do it” and he took me and Declan Murphy out in the boat. It was pure determination that saved him and we wouldn’t take no for an answer,” Suzanne added.

The entire rescue mission hung in the balance for a time as the strong currents tested the limits both of the rescuers and exhausted animal struggling to get to shore.

“We were being pulled all over the place and in truth the donkey’s head went under four times only that we tied the lifebuoy to his body. It was that which saved him,” Suzanne continued.

“At one stage he was pulling us towards the trees trying to get away and Declan put every bit of strength into holding him.

“The donkey had given up and wanted to drown at that stage. I want everyone to know that Mike and Declan are the heroes and they deserve gold medals for doing what they did to save the donkey. It was dangerous, but they were brave men who wouldn’t give up."


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