VIDEO: Heart-warming guide dogs show with local links

November 19th, 2019 5:05 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

ish and Conor O'Neill and their guide dog.

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A HEART-warming new TV documentary about Irish guide dogs has strong West Cork links.

Saol an Mhadra Bháin  is a two -part bilingual documentary that explores the secret lives of working dogs and tells the stories of men, women and children whose lives are dramatically changed and improved by them. 

The documentary takes a look at the in-depth training and work that goes on in two Cork charities The Irish Guide Dogs and the Dogs for the Disabled.

It features Cape Clear’s goat herder Ed Harper who explains how he depends so hugely on his guide dogs to navigate the island and his day-to-day comings and goings.

Also featured in the two-part show is Trish O’Neill who moved from Cork city to Donoughmore near Blarney to help her son Conor, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two-and-a-half.

 ‘For people with a child with autism, to have their world opened up by a dog is incredible,’ says Trish.

This unique and heart-warming series brings us into the homes and lives of those living with serious health challenges as we capture how these amazing animals transform their lives. 

The Doyle family in Carrigaline will feature in the second episode. Nifty has been with them for over 10 years as an autism assistant dog for their son who is now 16.

Over two episodes, Saol an Mhadra Bháin reveals the unique bond between human and dog and shows the difference working dogs can make for those living with visual impairment, autism, diabetes, epilepsy, severe scoliosis and muscular dystrophy in Ireland today. 

The programme, which will air on TG4 Wednesday 27th November at 9.30pm, is also voiced by Doireann Ni Bhriain, whose mother, the late Neasa Ni Annracháin from Skibbereen, was an actress and member of the RTE Players for over 30 years. Doireann is also the ‘voice of the Luas’. The second episode will air on TG4 on Wednesday December 4th.

VIDEO: Here's a sneak preview:


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