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Donkeys shine in Christmas Tree Festival

A five day Christmas Tree Festival was held at St Columb's Cathedral in Derry. Over 100 Christmas trees from local businesses and organisations were displayed in the Cathedral. Each business pieced together their own unique tree to reflect their organisation for the cross community festival. Entertainment ranged from local choirs, schools and soloists throughout the festival.

The donkeys and kids posing outside the church

Carol service in Celbridge

Carol services are a major part of the Christmas season and Tom Browning’s class in the special needs school in St Raphaels, Celbridge, Co Kildare were practicing their special Carol “Little Donkey”. So Tom thought he would invite The Donkey Sanctuary to bring a donkey or two.

Ian and Cathy with Baxten and Phoenix

Daisy and Derrin find loving home in time for Christmas

Daisy and Derrin came into the Sanctuary’s care in April of this year as the result of their owner passing away. The gentleman’s widow sadly was not able to cope with managing the donkeys as she herself was in her mid 70’s and found looking after them on a daily basis too demanding.

Daisy and her daughter Derrin proved to be very kind donkeys and as we worked with both ‘girls’ over the summer their lovely personalities and confidence shone through.

Daisy and Derrin wiht their new Donkey Guardian

Local education and collaboration

One of the aims of The Donkey Sanctuary is to spread the word about how best to care for donkeys far and wide, we officially do so more than once a month in the form of our Donkey Care Courses. After completing the course you will receive a certificate to prove your attendance and your donkey knowledge. We have so many different groups coming from all over the country from private donkey owners, donkey lovers, potential donkey guardians, work experience students, new staff, the list is end-list.

Some of the group members

Christmas Craft Fair and Food Fair

Come along to our Christmas Extravaganza and meet our beautiful donkeys this weekend! The Fair is taking place on Sunday November 27 in Hannigan's Farm, Liscarroll. This is our largest farm that is usually closed to the public, it is home to 466 donkeys and our donkey hospital is also located on this farm.

Enjoy a very unique experience and browse through over 30 different stalls selling a range of goods including mulled wine and Christmas delicacies. We will have a MONSTER RAFFLE on the day and we will have Messy Hands which is a fantastic activity for kids.

A snowy scene

From Ballinasloe to Barabanki

Not to be outdone by our own Donkey Welfare Adviser team that attend equine fairs for The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland, I made the journey all the way to Barabanki close to the India-Nepal border! An annual extravaganza over one week long with some 5500 horses, mules and donkeys walked or trucked from surrounding areas to be traded: onward as store animals (an investment) or put straight to work as pack or riding animals in the fields, on the roads, building sites and in the brick kilns of India and Nepal.

Donkeys being unloaded on the river bank

Construction in Delhi – donkey power

The Donkey Sanctuary India (DSI) oversees the welfare of some 1500 donkeys working on building sites in Delhi and surrounding neighbourhoods. I visited one such site in Gurgaon on October 18 in the company of DSI veterinarian Dr Surajit Nath. These animals work five to six hours per day labouring to move loads of gravel, sand and cement from heaps placed in the broiling sun into the shaded interior where plasterers await fresh building materials.

A building site where donkeys work


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