For years now the Animal Heaven Animal Rescue (AHAR) business has divided opinions into two very distinct camps.
People who concerned themselves with the operation at Cragg West found themselves in two diametrically opposed sides. They were either for or against.
There was no grey area or no man’s land in this protracted war of claim and counter claim.
Fort Knox Feeling
Situated a couple of miles to the north west of Castleisland town, the place had a Fort Knox feeling about it.
A gate off the Old Road was firmly padlocked and access could only be gained by appointment. And then someone in a car or jeep made the long trek down through the track in the fields to open the gate.
If there was a line in last night’s RTÉ Claire Byrne Live programme to sum up its gist it must have been: ‘All is not what it appears at the charity.’
And the way RTÉ reporter, Paul Murphy’s findings were laid out it became clear that indeed it isn’t.
It also became clear that stringent regulation will have to be enforced on the operation there – if it is to regain the confidence of the charitable public in order to keep its doors and the animal shelters open.
Concern for Sharon Shannon
It took something of a huge concern for the likes of Sharon Shannon to come out and speak as she did last night. It was an even greater wrench for her last year to cut her ties with AHAR – as she was a regular visitor and a patron of the charity.
Mick Hanley and his guest, Honor Heffernan played a benefit concert for AHAR at Ó Riada’s Bar and Restaurant in August 2013. The wind was so much in the sails of the charity for so long and there are people out there who will still back it.
That there is a need for such a facility in every county in the country is beyond doubt. Dog lovers were appalled a few years ago at Kerry County Council’s highest in Ireland figures for pounded dogs being put down.
No Bother to Suzanne Gibbons
It’s no bother to Suzanne Gibbons to hit back at even her most trenchant critics and she’s a great woman to whip up support for the wounded animals she takes in regularly.
It all sounds ideal and the criticism she attracts would put her in the ‘flawed genius’ category for her supporters.
In spite of the findings presented in last night’s programme it could turn out that she’s still the best woman for the job – if and when the regulations recommended are implemented.
There are many people who are passionate about what they do to the exclusion of feelings for anything else going on around them.
The Foggiest Notion
Often, they don’t have the foggiest notion of how to handle money and their legacies and monuments are to be found elsewhere – and maybe in another time – or not at all.
The backdrop to all this is the terrible vista of dogs chained to old cars, horses trying to poke out a mouthful of grass in rushy fields with their ribs clearly showing and donkeys with hooves curling back onto their shinbones.
The regulations will be great for the business side of the operation – but will the suited, office hogging enforcers spare a thought for the unfortunate animals at the heart of the matter.
Look at what we’re doing to the human equivalent of our homeless and vulnerable animals. You can see the Claire Byrne Live / AHAR segment with a click on the link here:
You can contact The Maine Valley Post on… Anyone in The Maine Valley Post catchment area who would like to send us news and captioned photographs for inclusion can send them to: email@example.com
Queries about advertising and any other matters regarding The Maine Valley Post can also be sent to that address or just ring: 087 23 59 467
Please Note: A click on any of our adverts will reveal all you need to know about what our advertisers need to tell you.