WHEN PEGGY MANGAN went missing in Dublin last September the Dublin Civil Defence team didn’t have a dedicated search and rescue dog to help find her. Thanks to the foundation set up in her name, they will from now on.
Later today the Peggy Mangan Foundation will hand over search and rescue dog Max to the majority volunteer organisation and say that they hope the use of canine resources will become standard across the country.
Peggy was missing from her home in Terenure in Dublin for four days before her body was found about 14 km away on the other side of the city. There were several reported sightings of Peggy during the time she was missing but sadly none led to the ending that the hundreds of volunteers taking part in the search were hoping for.
James McConnell of the Dublin Civil Defence says that Max will be a great addition to their team.
“It’s going to make a significant difference, it’s an extra tool,” he explains. “Just like getting another search boats or heat seeking sensors when searching for someone. It’s going to make a specific difference especially when you’re looking for someone in large open areas.
The springer spaniel has spent the last four months training for his duties at Fitom Kennels in Carlow under the guidance of Paul Murphy who has twenty years experience of specialist dog training for the police forces in the United States.
Murphy trained the dog as part of a donation to the Peggy Mangan Foundation and Max will now be homed with his handler, Civil Defence Member Michael O’Sullivan.
“It’s a massive commitment for Michael. The relationship between a dog and a handler is a very important. Michael’s been with us for a long time and he would have been very involved of course with the search for Peggy,” said McConnell.
What’s perhaps even more vital is that Max will be the first search dog in Dublin that will be specifically trained for water based searches.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn and members of the Mangan family will be present at the official handover of Max later today.