Ireland's Jack Crowley launches Guide Dog Day on Friday, 24 May

15 May, 2024

Ireland's Jack Crowley launches Guide Dog Day on Friday, 24 May

Aiming to change 84 lives this year

  • Support collections taking place across the country on 24 May

  • Donate at

  • Join one of the GDD Dog Walks

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind's Ambassador and Munster and Ireland player Jack Crowley has launched the charity’s annual fundraising campaign Guide Dog Day which takes place on Friday 24 May.

Guide Dog Day will focus on the organisation's Clients, their families and Volunteers sharing their stories about the difference Guide and Assistance Dogs have had in their lives and community.

Monica Wims, Sligo – Monica lost her sight after a tragic accident in 2011. The journey from the accident to acceptance was arduous. Monica battled through surgeries and rehabilitation, surrounded by the unwavering support of her family, friends, and community. Two years after the accident, Monica took a significant step forward in her journey toward independence with the arrival of her first Guide Dog, Guinness, from the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. With Guinness by her side, Monica regained a sense of freedom and companionship that she thought she had lost forever. As life continued to unfold, Monica's path led her to Piper, her current Guide Dog, in 2021. With Piper's steady presence, Monica finds the courage to step out of her comfort zone and embrace life beyond the confines of her home. Together, they embark on daily walks through the countryside, with Piper guiding Monica through each step of the way.

Caz Maher, Louth – “Like any family with a child with special needs, life was challenging. Oren, who was 5 before we entered the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind Assistance Dog Programme, was a difficult child behaviour-wise. He would bolt into traffic, he would scream during shopping trips, he would slap us and refuse to listen to anything we said to him. Oren also has a visual impairment as well as autism and an intellectual disability. Keeping him safe was our number one high priority. With the arrival of Assistance Dog Cookie, Oren suddenly was able to walk around and touch and feel things... he loved his independence. As time has gone on, Oren has listened to every command that has been given to Cookie, and he has learned them he is saying them to Cookie. Oren has become an amazing, independent little man who is more controlled and loves what Cookie has taught him.”

Tim O'Mahony, CEO of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind said; "Guide Dog Day last year enabled us to successfully match 58 Guide Dog and Assistance Dog partnerships and place 8 Community Dogs in schools and facilities around the country. With the training of one Guide Dog costing approximately €53,000 we need immense support on Guide Dog Day this year to achieve our target of changing the lives of 84 families in 2024 through the provision of our services. In addition to those 84 families, we will also support the 400 clients who currently have our dogs.”

Current status:

  • Breeding Programme continues to grow with 6 litters successfully born so far in 2024

  • 110 puppies currently being puppy raised. These pups will be the dogs who start formal training later this year and during 2025.

  • 44 pups currently undergoing formal training who will hopefully be successfully matched in the coming months.

  • 78 families on the waiting list for the Assistance Dog Programme


Guide Dog Day celebrations will see fundraising collections and dog walks taking place across the country. For full details see

Dog walks

The first Guide Dog Day walk kicks off at the Papal Cross, Phoenix Park Dublin on Sunday 19 May at 10am (registration 9:15am).

Other walks around the country include:

  • Donegal - Glenveagh National Park – 2pm, Saturday 25 May

  • Cork - Bantry Boardwalk – 11am, Saturday 25 May

  • Offaly – Park Run Grand Canal Way, Tullamore – 9:30, Saturday 25 May

  • Sligo – Sligo Regional Park – 11am, Saturday, 25 May

  • Mayo – Lough Lannagh – 12noon, Saturday 25 May

  • Cork - Castlegrounds, Macroom – 11am, Sunday 26 May

  • Cork - Ballincollig Regional Park – 11am, Sunday 26 May

  • Galway - Claddagh Hall – 1pm, Sunday 26 May

  • Limerick – University of Limerick, North Campus – 11am, Sunday 26 May


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