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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 13 November, 2018
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Video: Volunteers work to keep abandoned horses in Dublin hydrated during the heatwave

The drains in their fields are completely dried up and without the volunteers they would have nothing to drink in this heat.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

VOLUNTEERS FROM THE My Lovely Horse charity in south Dublin are among a select group of people in the country who are hoping for a bit of rain in the coming weeks.

Anna Dolan and her fellow-volunteers in Clondalkin have been visiting a group of abandoned horses in local fields every evening to ensure they are keeping hydrated during the heatwave.

The drains in the fields usually provide a source of drinking water for the horses but they have dried up due to the recent warm weather and without the volunteers they would have nothing to drink.

dav Volunteers bring water to the fields every evening for the horses. Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

“All the drains are all totally dry and there’s no other access to water. Tonight we put in 120 litres and that’s usually the amount, 120 or 130 litres,” Dolan explained.

This is the thirstiest they have been, this is the worst night they have been, which is surprising and our bath was broken so we had to fix the bath.

Dolan has been caring for horses in these fields for a number of years. The longest resident is a strong-willed mare she has named Mary – she has been living there for more than three years.

Other horses have been abandoned in the fields and then taken out again, only to be replaced by more unwanted horses. It is a cycle that repeats itself volunteers said, though Mary has managed to avoid capture.

“It’s upsetting when they’re taken, you come in and they’re just gone,” Dolan told TheJournal.ie.

These fields were a more dangerous place for volunteers last year, when they were being used for joyriding by local youths who left burnt-out cars behind them.

car Source: Daragh Brophy/TheJournal.ie

All of the cars have been cleared out of the fields now and trenches have been dug to stop people getting vehicles in.

But these trenches have not stopped people coming into the fields to either try to catch one of the horses – sometimes seriously injuring the animals – or to discard a horse they no long want to care for.

Source: Michelle Hennessy/TheJournal.ie

“We assume [it is local youths] but now some of them aren’t youths, they’re adults and they’re trading, swapping them for bikes and watches, and they’ve no love for the animals.

“The owners know where here coming…they know we’re in because if you meet any of the youngfellas on the street they’ll say ‘Are you up with the horses?’”

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