Roy Keane with puppy Caffiie and Tyndall PHD project leader Marinarra Marcato.
Roy Keane returned home to Cork to mark the launch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind's annual Heroes appeal, which starts on April 6th.
The Heroes fundraising campaign will see volunteers and staff collecting nationwide to raise much-needed funds to support the organisation’s work with people who are blind or visually impaired and families of children with autism. The funds raised will go towards training guide dogs and assistance dogs.
Tyndall National Institute was chosen as the location for the launch as they are supporting Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind in developing new sensor based technologies that they hope will support training and help create more life changing guide and assistance dogs partnerships.
“I am delighted to support the Heroes appeal for Irish Guide Dogs. Over the years, I have witnessed the incredible bond between these heroic dogs and their owners, a partnership which transforms and saves lives. It is amazing to be here in Tyndall to see how the work they do can have an impact on a family with autism or a person with a vision impairment,” Roy Keane said.
“This project will help us create more future heroes. I am asking the public to please support Irish Guide Dogs so that more people can enjoy the freedom and independence that these wonderful dogs provide,” Keane added.
The project with Tyndall, titled Guide Dog 4.0, is designed to support Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind in identifying potential guide and assistance dogs earlier in the training process, to remotely monitor dog health and to help shorten the period taken to train a guide or assistance dog.
The project is looking at sensor based wearable technology that will isolate specific readings from the dogs.This data will then support trainers in better understanding the dog’s behaviour, leading to better outcomes from the training process.
How to support Heroes:
1. Text WOOF to 50300 to donate €4. (Irish Guide Dogs will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278)
2. Buy their dog pin online or at street collections and retailers nationwide.
3. Donate online.
4. Support their on street collections in Dublin and Limerick on April 6th and 7th, in Cork on April 7th and 12th, and in Galway on April 7th.
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