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Laois teenager ‘thrilled, delighted and surprised’ as heifer fetches €2,500 in aid of Laois Hospice

Pat Nevin, Hooves4Hospice; Mr Michael Harty, Manager Birr Mart; Ruth Talbot and her dad Robin Talbot

Thrilled, delighted and surprised was how 14 year old Laois schoolgirl, Ruth Talbot described the sale of her Friesian heifer – the 500th Hooves for Hospice animal – for €2,500 at Birr Mart, this week.

The animal was sold by the auctioneer for €2,000 and then the buyer very generously added €500 to the sale price to bring the total value of the donation to €2,500 towards Hooves4Hospice

Just two years ago, Ruth used some of her Confirmation gift money to purchase the animal and rear it for Hooves4Hospice, at the family farm of Robin and Ann Talbot at Coole, Ballacolla.

She said: “I was just thrilled to get such a good price especially as the money is going to such a good cause.

“Everybody at the mart including Mr Michael Harty and his staff were just so supportive of my effort”, said Ruth always one to think of others.

“And since the sale I have received messages of support from friends and neighbours across the county and beyond.”

Taking all aspects of animal husbandry into account Ruth helped by her sister, Sarah and members of her family worked on washing and preparing the heifer to ensure the animal was looking it’s best on the day.

Ruth said: “It was all just such a worthwhile experience and I got great support from everybody including family, friends and neighbours.

“I am aware that the Midlands does not have a Regional Hospice and the fact that people currently have to travel to Dublin or further for end of life care.

“So when I heard about Hooves4Hospice I thought it was such a worthwhile project – fundraising to provide a facility that will be there in the future for families and their loved ones in the midlands.”

Ruth also added that she hoped other farmers in the area would come forward and support the project.

“The Covid pandemic has reminded us of the importance of community, of looking after those who are close to us,” added her father Robin.

“So, we are proud to do our part in helping this most worthy and necessary venture.”

Mr Pat Lalor, Chairman H4H paid tribute to Ruth for her generous decision to donate the animal, complimented her on her care of the animal and thanked her for the very generous donation.

“Ruth’s generous gesture is inspirational to all involved in the project and proof that our project has touched all ages in the community.

“We are very grateful to Ruth and her family for their support”, he added.

Launched in 2020 over 580 animals are now being reared by farmers participating in the project.

When the animals are reared and sold, the entire proceeds will be donated to the project.

Cash donations from individuals and community groups totaling over €100,000 have also been received.

The target with everybody’s support is to raise €1million towards the building costs of a Midland Regional Hospice.

SEE ALSO – Who’s getting what? The full list of Laois recipients as almost €4 million in sports grants awarded to Laois clubs

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.