Thursday 14 November 2019

'The first step on our journey' - Doireann Garrihy and her father visit cows reared by Irish inmates ahead of Africa trip

Doireann Garrihy and her dad Eugene in a remote location outside Rwamagana in Rwanda where they met with local genocide widow farmers whose live are being transformed by gifts of Irish cows through aid agency Bòthar. Picture: Sean Curtin True Media.
Doireann Garrihy and her dad Eugene in a remote location outside Rwamagana in Rwanda where they met with local genocide widow farmers whose live are being transformed by gifts of Irish cows through aid agency Bòthar. Picture: Sean Curtin True Media.
Rachel Farrell

Rachel Farrell

Broadcaster Doireann Garrihy has said she feels lucky to be part of a "wonderful" experience with an Irish charity that provide cows to impoverished families in an African country.

The social media star and her father Eugene visited Shelton Abbey open prison in Co Wicklow recently ahead of their trip to Rwanda with the charity Bóthar.

At the prison, the duo saw first-hand the work that is put into rearing the cattle that are later sent to the central African country, 25 years after the 1994 genocide.

The charity has been flying cows over to the region since 1991 to help impoverished families, and the Garrihys got to visit 21 of this years batch that were reared by inmates.

Governor of Shelton Abbey, Joseph Donohue, said that the project "promotes a sense of responsibility" among the inmates.

"It's a sense of caring and being responsible for the health and welfare of an animal," he said.

"[The cows] come in when they're about two weeks old and they're here for about 18 months. Our inmates take an active involvement from the get-go."

According to Mr Donohue, the project has done so well that it has since spread elsewhere.

"It expanded up to Loughlan House, which is at the other open centre up at Cavan. It's been really good and obviously for the cause that it is, we're really delighted to have it here."

After visiting the prison grounds, Doireann's father Eugene, who accompanied her on the trip, said: "I didn't really appreciate what the open system does until today."

2fm broadcaster Doireann said that it was "the first step on our journey".

"It feels a lot more personal, we feel closer to it," she said. "I just can't wait to see them on the other side over in Rwanda."

Eugene, added that it was "wonderful to be part of it and maybe help to tell some of the story and the wonderful work that Bóthar do."

The West Clare man previously praised the charity for the great work they do.

"Having grown up on a small farm and knowing how much of a struggle it is for many farmers in Ireland today, their generosity is incredible.

"A lot of the money comes from non-farmers, who simply buy cows, as well. So, it’s a programme that is really starting to catch-on."

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