Therapy puppy Ultan is capturing the hearts of all at St Brogan’s in Bandon

February 19th, 2024 5:30 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The Irish doodle Ultan is the newest addition to St Brogan’s in Bandon.

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A fiercely cute Irish doodle has been ‘enrolled’ at a Bandon school to offer affection, comfort, and support to students and staff alike

A SCHOOL therapy puppy at St Brogan’s College in Bandon has already won the hearts of both the students and staff since he arrived before Christmas.

Ultan is an Irish doodle – a cross between an Irish setter and a poodle – and his presence at the school is all down to the charity, My Canine Companion.

The charity provides school therapy dogs to both primary and secondary schools across the country.

Speaking to The Southern Star, school principal Helen Cadogan, who is one of two handlers in the school for Ultan, said they thought the presence of Ultan would be of benefit to the students.

‘We have had our name on a waiting list with My Canine Companion for a couple of years now and we finally received him two weeks before Christmas, after a consultation process,’ said Helen.

‘We have two handlers in the school, including myself and special needs assistant Allen Cronin. Ultan is staying with me currently. He has been a wonderful addition to the school and they are all delighted to have a puppy in the school.’

Allen Cronin with Ultan in the school.


Both Helen and Allen will provide on-the-job training for Ultan, while attending weekly specialist training classes in Cork city.

‘His purpose is to support students who are anxious or have autism and really to brighten everyone’s day. There are students who will really benefit from having him here. He will work with certain children as he gets older and go into classes too.’

The plan is for Ultan to stay with the school until he retires and he will be trained to provide affection, comfort, and support to students. ‘Ultan brings a smile to everyone’s face and while there is a lot of training, we’re enjoying it.’

The school is also grateful to the Glasslyn Vet Clinic who have agreed to sponsor Ultan’s veterinary and grooming needs and he received his first grooming from them early last month.

The school also wants to thank their neighbours, Bandon Co-op for sponsoring other items for Ultan.

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