Treasa and Sinéad Bracken with the animal they bought, reared and sold, along with Pat Minnock and Andy Galvin of Hooves4Hospice.

Schools and students invited to work with Hooves4Hospice

Twin sisters Treasa and Sinéad Bracken, transition year students at Mercy Secondary School, Kilbeggan, are talented young farmers judging by the fine animal they donated to the Hooves4Hospice fundraising project, which sold for €1,340.

Asked why they decided to get involved in the Hooves4Hospice project, they said: “It’s such a great cause and it was something different to do.”

There will be no surprise about what they would like to do after secondary school – “something to do with farming”.

In the immediate future though, their plans are clear; they’re going to rear another animal for Hooves 4 Hospice.

Schools invited to get involved in Hooves4Hospice

Schools and students are being invited to get involved in the Hooves4Hospice project this week.

Students are asked to identify and recruit a farmer or a number of farmers in their areas who would be willing to rear animals to the point of sale.

As a token of support to participating schools, Hooves4Hospice will issue a numbered ticket for every animal adopted by a school and will hold a raffle for a prize of €1,000 for every 50 animals adopted.

Despite the obstacles presented by Covid-19, a number of primary and second level schools have supported the project in a variety of ways.

Pat Lalor, chairman of the Hooves4Hospice, said there are close to 300 primary and second level schools in the four counties to be served by the regional hospice.

“We are now asking all schools in our region, that are in a position to do so, to consider becoming part of the project. All we are asking of schools and students is to identify and recruit a farmer or a number of farmers who would be willing to rear an animal to the point of sale.

“The animals will be purchased and delivered by Hooves4Hospice, in consultation with the host farmers, and all overheads, with the exception of feed costs, will be covered by Hooves4Hospice.

“We hope your school may be in a position to identify one or more farmers willing to join our project,” Mr Lalor said.


In January 2020, Lions Clubs in the midlands, led by Tullamore Lions Club, established the Hooves4Hospice fundraising project, to raise €1 million towards the capital costs of a Level 3 regional hospice servicing the counties of Westmeath, Longford, Offaly and Laois.

There are 13 such hospices elsewhere in the country. The capital cost of the Regional Hospice has to be met by the local community, and the running costs by the HSE.

At the end of 2021, thanks to the generosity of farmers and other donors, 580 animals ha been pledged to the project. The estimated value of the fund at year end was €760,000.

The project received a huge boost just before Christmas when the minister for health allocated €1 million to progress the preliminary work on the hospice project.

Hooves4Hopsice hope that with your help and the collective support of midland schools, they can reach their intended funding target by mid-2023.

If your school is in a position to become involved, please email to let us know you would like to help and we will follow up with you.

The Hooves4Hospoice contact number is 085 8775477.

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