Durkan praises Guide Dogs NI on 30th anniversary celebrations

The Guide Dogs for the Blind campaign launch at The House of Commons.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind campaign launch at The House of Commons.

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SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has congratulated Guide Dogs NI on their 30th anniversary celebrations this week.

Mr Durkan has also praised the charity’s “invaluable” role in transforming the lives of blind and partially sighted people in Derry.

Mr Durkan, a long-term supporter of the charity, has backed a number of its campaigns at Westminster – including the call for all buses to have audible announcements about the next stop, and a campaign highlighting the increasing number of guide dogs who are attacked by other dogs.

He said: “I congratulate Guide Dogs NI on their 30th anniversary celebrations and would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the charity’s invaluable work in enabling blind and partially sighted people in Derry to get out and about on their own.

“For 30 years now, the charity has worked throughout the North to provide freedom, mobility and independence for hundreds of people living with blindness – creating more than 400 guide dog partnerships and developing a range of services.

“With an increasing number of attacks on guide dogs by other dogs, I have lobbied at Westminster to ensure meaningful measures are introduced to protect guide dogs and their owners.”

Mr Durkan added: “I have also supported the charity’s call on government to make it a requirement for all new buses and coaches to have audible and visual information systems on board – as is already a requirement for trains and trams.

“I will therefore continue to raise awareness of the fantastic work of Guide Dogs NI at Westminster – as well as the difficulties that blind and partially sighted people have to deal with on a daily basis.”