Roy Keane is the patron of Irish guide dogs, and is also currently the manager of Ipswich football team. Ipswich are playing a friendly against Finn Harps tomorrow night in Ballybofey, about 40 minutes from where I live. I’m sure the match will be well supported and I expect there’ll be some local media coverage, so I thought I’d try my luck and see if I could bring O J.
I’m not a big football fan at all, and meeting Roy Keane isn’t a priority. However I thought that even a photo of him with O J and a mention of the fact that he is the patron of guide dogs would do no harm in the Donegal area, where publicity about guide dogs and more so assistance dogs could be improved.
I contacted the Finn Harps training ground, and got a nice appologetic response from a member of staff. She said that they were only allowed to organise the event that Keane was coming for, i.e. the match and nothing else. I completely understand why this is the case. Celebraties can’t just exactly go and get pictures with every single person who wants to meet them. She said that I should contact guide dogs headquarters and if they gave the goahead she could organise something. She also said she would pass my email on to their PR person and if he could help he would get in contact. The match is tomorrow and I haven’t heard anything.
I contacted the guide dog centre and tried my luck there. They said that Roy Keane is only contracted to advertise shades week each year, and cannot get involved with any other advertising activities for guide dogs. Fair enough. We aren’t going to meet Keano, but that’s not really where I have the problem. When Keane is pictured in the media, the pictures are always taken in Cork or Dublin. Guide dogs ran a competition for a school to have a visit from him last year, and funnily enough a school from Cork won. This was probably genuine, but it worked out handy and he didn’t have to travel far.
Donegal is the second biggest county in Ireland, yet when media are concerned it can sometimes feel like we live on another plannet. I have other issues with advertising and media coverage that I won’t go into here right now. I’ll just say that I think its something that needs to be considered by the organisation. Ultimately raising money is its main priority, but surely publicity helps. They are quick enough to ask for help with collections!
All the PR and stuff you have to go through to meet a celebraty can be very off-putting, and sometimes when you meet the person in question they are completely down to earth and unaffected by the fuss around them. I have experienced this a few times. The celebraties are made out to look snobby, like they aren’t interested in having a conversation with anybody, when in fact they are just ordinary human beings.
I haven’t explained myself very well, but I’m tired so this will have to do.
On a more interesting note before i go, take a look at
about his time working in Kenya.
currently listening to: Alison Curtis on today fm (one of the best presenters on Irish radio)