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Festive fundraiser in Ballinalee for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Sean Reilly shaves off Brendan Kiernan's hair and beard at the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind fundraiser in Farrell's Bar, Ballinalee, last Saturday night. Photo: Shelley Corcoran

Sean Reilly shaves off Brendan Kiernan's hair and beard at the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind fundraiser in Farrell's Bar, Ballinalee, last Saturday night. Photo: Shelley Corcoran

Last Saturday, January 4, Farrells Bar-Lounge, Ballinalee hosted their first Santa Beard Shave event for charity.

A novel end to the festive season, locals gathered to see ‘Santa Claus’ and Colmcille native Brendan Kiernan shave off his beard to help raise funds for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Speaking to the Leader after the event, Brendan explains that he has grown a beard for various charities in the past.

The idea for this event came about in Farrells Bar-Lounge, Brendan says.

Mary Farrell’s sister Breege and her husband Tom both have guide dogs, and Brendan says that upon meeting a guide dog, it is impossible not to love them, adding that they are “the loveliest creatures on the planet”.

Happily, Saturday night’s event proved to be a huge success. MC on the night was Martin “The Cavanman” Donohoe, and there was music by local musicians as well as a raffle.

Though undoubtedly a star in the night’s event, Brendan is quick to mention Roisin Reilly and John Boyle who carried out collections and sold tickets respectively.

Brendan praised Roisin and John for their work prior to the event, adding “All I [did] was turn up!”

Clean-shaven having grown his beard since January, Brendan is now working on growing this year’s beard for the next event. “It’s a totally organic beard” Brendan laughs, joking that no fertilisers were used.

Following on from the success of the Santa Beard Shave, there is already talk of repeating the event next year to raise further funds for the charity.

Approximately €3,000 has been raised both from the beard shave and collections prior to the event.

Funds raised will go to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, a charity which supplies valuable training and resources for free to the blind and those with autism throughout Ireland.

 

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