Search

25 May 2022

International Women's Day | Longford's Evelyn Neary of Cian's Kennels inspired by amazing mothers she met #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias

International Women's Day | Longford's Evelyn Neary inspired by amazing mothers she met  #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias

Evelyn Neary of Cian's Kennels

Evelyn Neary and her husband Enda set up Cian’s Kennels in March 2020 in memory of their son Cian with the aim of bringing joy to sick children through interaction with their pets.

The idea for the charity was based on their own experience of the positive impact Cian’s pet Cooper had on Cian while Cian was ill.

January 10, 2022 was a significant day in relation to the project to provide kennelling facilities close to the children’s hospital Dublin in Cian’s memory.

Evelyn explained, “It was the culmination of almost two years' work by the amazing Board of Directors of Cian’s Kennels, volunteers and many fundraisers.

“Phase 1 of the project is progressing to plan with just some final internal furnishings and external fencing to be completed – we expect to be up and running in a week or two with an official opening planned for May.

“Enda, Shane and I are very proud of what has been achieved in Cian’s memory. He was an amazing young man and Cian’s Kennels is a legacy which will remind everyone of his love of life and love of his beloved dog Cooper.”

She said International Women’s Day is an opportunity for all to consider issues relevant to women.

Asked about ladies who inspired her, Evelyn replied, “I’m not going to go the usual route and pick well known personalities. I have been inspired by the amazing mothers I have met along our journey since Cian first became ill. Their selflessness, care and absolute devotion to their sick children affected me in a way that I will never forget.”

Evelyn, Enda and Shane Neary will be the Longford St Patrick’s Day parade grand marshals and they are looking forward to it.

“Honoured to be asked – as a child I remember always going to the parade in Longford and then Enda and I continued that tradition with our boys Cian and Shane. I spent some time as PRO of the Chamber of Commerce some years ago so delighted to be part of it again. It will be an emotional one for us but should be fun with Cooper!”

Check out our other IWD interviews with inspirational Longford women at the link below:

Check out our IWD 2021 interviews:

How will you mark International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 8?

Tuesday, March 8 will be a normal working day for me. I’ve nothing special planned for the day to mark this but days like this do allow an opportunity for all to consider issues relevant to women.

#BreakTheBias is the theme for International Women’s Day - applying the theme to your own life and career, what might it mean to you and what is your view or interpretation on the theme?

My interpretation of the theme is that the focus of the day is to highlight areas of women’s lives where unfair prejudices have had a negative impact and to encourage change of attitude where needed.

According to the World Economic Forum, gender parity will not be attained for almost a century. Do you agree? Could it be attained sooner? Have you ever suffered at the hands of or know of a family member or friend that has suffered due gender bias? 

I’m surprised at this – it seems very far away!!!! ….Hopefully it won’t take quite that long!

I am very fortunate to be able to say that in my life and career to date I have not suffered gender bias nor have I witnessed it among family or friends.

The murder of young teacher Ashling Murphy, the subsequent outpouring of grief, solidarity, vigils held worldwide and anger and it firmly put a spotlight on attitudes towards and violence against women. Have you witnessed change? What needs to change? 

For me personally the only change I have noticed is that women are even more aware of the dangers that are out there and we have all certainly had to re-think our outdoor daily exercise routines. I feel there are many complex areas involved here and the change needed will not happen overnight.

With Covid-19 pandemic restrictions lifting, what have we learned over the past two years and what are your hopes for the future? 

As a family we found the restrictions very tough coming so soon after we lost our son Cian in September 2019. The restrictions meant that our usual outlets such as counselling, time spent with friends etc were curtailed. The restrictions also meant that our plans to progress Cian’s Kennels were delayed. Since Cian’s death we don’t tend to look too far ahead but are slowly beginning to plan for the future as a family.

Your thoughts on the invasion of Ukraine? 

In one word “heart-breaking” – so, so sad on so many levels – the loss of life, the families torn apart through separation, communities destroyed.

I personally find it very difficult to look at the oncology children – their journeys were already so difficult…

From a work point of view in my role as finance manager in a manufacturing business the economic impact of the invasion and the resulting uncertainties in relation to supply channels, power costs etc have been on our agenda.

Two ladies that have inspired you in your own life and explain why ?

I’m not going to go the usual route and pick well known personalities. I have been inspired by the amazing mothers I have met along our journey since Cian first became ill. Their selflessness, care and absolute devotion to their sick children affected me in a way that I will never forget.

Cian’s Kennels - January 10 was a significant day in relation to the project to provide kennel facilities close to the children’s hospital Dublin in Cian’s memory. How far advanced is the project at this stage? How much does it mean to yourself, Enda and Shane?

Yes indeed, January 10th was a very significant day for us and was the culmination of almost two years of work by the amazing Board of Directors of Cian’s Kennels, volunteers and many fundraisers.

Phase 1 of the project is progressing to plan with just some final internal furnishings and external fencing to be completed – we expect to be up and running in a week or two with an official opening planned for May.

Enda, Shane and I are very proud of what has been achieved in Cian’s memory. He was an amazing young man and Cian’s Kennels is a legacy which will remind everyone of his love of life and love of his beloved dog Cooper.

Longford St Patrick’s Day parade grand marshals - looking forward to it ? 

Really looking forward to it!

Honoured to be asked to do this – as a child I remember always going to the parade in Longford and then Enda and I continued that tradition with our boys Cian and Shane….lots of great memories over the years…

I spent some time as PRO of the Chamber of Commerce some years ago so delighted to be part of it again….

It will be an emotional one for us ….but should be fun with Cooper!

What are the future plans for Cian’s Kennels charity? 

The plan is to get Phase 1 up and running over the next few weeks/months and then turn our attention to the next Phase………. Our mission is to “bring pets closer to sick children and their families” so who knows where that will bring us…

Anything else you may wish to add ?

Happy International Women’s Day!!!

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.


Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.