Westmeath couple reared over 1,000 goats for Bóthar

A Westmeath couple who reared over 1,000 goats for the charity Bóthar were recently honoured for their work over the past 15 years in helping impoverished families around the globe.

Jimmy and Elizabeth Lennon from Moydrum also kept heifers and reared calves for the charity through the years. At the Moate Bóthar branch AGM recently, the couple received a presentation to acknowledge their years of support and to thank them for helping so many families.

The couple got involved after their daughter, Linda, and her husband, Brendan, took part in a charity horse ride to raise funds for Bóthar in 2004.

Making a difference

Jimmy, a farmer who kept cattle, donkeys and horses, also worked as a bus driver until he retired in 2005. When he learned about the work Bóthar was doing, he, along with his late friend Jimmy Doyle, wanted to help make a difference.

Co. Galway-based Haske Knippels and Marion Roeleveld of Killeen Cheese donated at least 10 animals per year to the Lennons for Bóthar.

“Every year they would give us so many goats free and we would buy others at a reduced rate because they liked what we were doing,” said Jimmy.

I fenced in an acre, with chain link fences, and I started rearing goats. I’d rear 30 goats at a time, and at 12 weeks then they’d be given out to other people to look after. I’d go back and rear another 30.

“Around September they were collected and they would all come back into our place again. They would have to go into quarantine for 42 days before they could be shipped abroad.”

The Lennons have sent goats to many different countries down through the years, including: Uganda; Rwanda; Tanzania; Milawi; Albania; Kosovo; and Romania.

Colm Doyle, son of the late Jimmy, travelled to Rwanda to see the impact the livestock had on the lives of the people receiving it.

The Lennons were delighted to see his photographs illustrating the difference the goats were making to families from a health and income perspective. They knew that the 1,000-plus goats they had reared had transformed the situations of so many families.

“We got great satisfaction from that – we loved doing it and we’re still involved in a small way. It keeps me out and about,” Jimmy said.

For further information on any of Bóthar’s programmes, contact Bóthar’s world headquarters in Limerick on: 1850-82-9999; or visit www.bothar.ie.