Animal charity run by Cathy Davey hits the financial buffers over Covid-19

My Lovely Horse animal rescue is facing a deficit this year of €70,000

Singer-songwriter Cathy Davey has said her charity My Lovely Horse Animal Rescue is €70,000 in debt this year despite a surge in abandoned animals as a result of the pandemic.

Davey and her partner Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy run the animal charity which is based on three farms in Co Kildare.

The charity is named after the Father Ted song My Lovely Horse which Hannon co-wrote with Father Ted creators Graham Lenihan and Arthur Mathews.

Since its foundation in 2011, the My Lovely Horse animal rescue has expanded to include, not only horses, but dogs, pigs and goats as well.


There are 450 animals in total on the new farms.

Ms Davey said the charity's main source of income has been "shaking buckets on Grafton Street" which has not been possible this year in the same way because of the prolonged retail closure, Electric Picnic, which did not go ahead this year, and bag packing at Marks and Spencer.

She says the charity has been able to survive as a result of the forbearance of its suppliers who will eventually have to be paid “We owe our suppliers and we owe our vets,” she said.

Ms Davey said she and other founder members have had to subsidise the charity at a time when musicians have been unable to earn themselves because of the pandemic. “We haven’t been working. It’s just been thin air. Everyone has been taking a financial hit,” she said.

“We are pretty much a voluntary organisation. We haven’t lost staff as such, but we have not been able to build new accommodation for winter.

“Our heads have been done working the whole time instead of trying to plan for growth.”

She said rumours that the charity was on the verge of closure were completely off the mark. “We will never close our doors as long as we are here we are able to work. We will not stop doing what we are doing ” she stated.

The charity has assembled an all-star cast of Irish musicians on Friday evening to highlight the funding difficulties for the charity. Along with Cathy Davey and Hannon, Lisa O'Neill, David Geraghty, Stephen James Smith, David Keenan and Conor O'Brien of Villagers will participate. The event is live on Facebook from 8pm.

Separately, Dublin beer collective, D8 Beers, has announced that the sole beneficiary from the sale of its Winter Ale will be the charity.

The beer can be purchased online at

"The people behind our chosen charity are solid, good folk with big hearts," said D8 Beers co-founder Garret Murphy.

“These people work tirelessly to bring comfort and save the lives of animals in unfortunate situations. We think their great work should be rewarded.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times