President to visit Donkey Sanctuary

President Michael D Higgins will visit the Donkey Sanctuary in Liscarroll next Friday, 15th November, en route from Liscarroll Community Childcare Facility and Respond. The Donkey Sanctuary, formerly known as ‘The Restfield’ was founded by Garrett Barrett, ISPCA Inspector in 1964. In 1981, Garrett died and his son Paddy took over from him. In 1987 the Donkey Sanctuary Ireland was co-founded by Dr. Elizabeth Svendsen of the Donkey Sanctuary Devon and Paddy of Restfield in Liscarroll. From humble beginnings in 1987 Donkey Sanctuary Ireland has grown to what it is today. 3,850 neglected donkeys and mules have been rescued from all over the country, and 400 of these have been rehabilitated in suitable homes in pairs. At present the centre has over 1,100 donkeys in its care. Knockardbane Farm is open to the public all year round, with over 40,000 visitors calling to meet with the donkeys. Admission and parking is free.

Hannigan’s Farm, which is not open to the public, incorporates the isolation and hospital/veterinary area and all the new intakes and sick donkeys are cared for there. 60 staff are employed at the Donkey Sanctuary Ireland and are assisted by dedicated volunteers.

“The visit of President Higgins is a wonderful opportunity for the Donkey Sanctuary to exhibit the work they do to protect donkeys from cruelty and neglect,” said Paddy Barrett. “It is only through the generosity and kindness of the public that we are able to care for these defenceless animals.”

If you should wish to volunteer please contact the Donkey Sanctuary on 022 48398 or email