National Hall of Fame award

On 30 May 2017, Amanda Wallace was presented with the National Hall of Fame Award for 2017 by the President of the GAA, Aogan O Fearghail, at a ceremony in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone.

The citation for Amanda’s contribution to donkeys in the Awards booklet was:

The Irish Donkey Society is proud to nominate Amanda Wallace to the Hall of Fame for exceptional services to donkeys. She is a skilled administrator and exhibitor for whom nothing is too much trouble when promoting the dignity and versatility of our much-loved donkeys. Her Grandfather Millar is credited with her passion for donkeys.

“In1996, as a family, we purchased a donkey called Muffin from a local breeder and this started the Kinedale Donkey Stud as it is today. We have at present 21 donkeys which we show in-hand, drive and plough with. Showing for us is a family business and my sons have been keen to compete in all aspects of donkey ownership. We have bred some prize-winning foals from our stallion which are now third generation animals registered with the Donkey Breed Society (DBS).

Currently I am Chairperson of the DBS in Northern Ireland – a role I really cherish as I get to meet so many donkey enthusiasts as well as enjoying the soft-furred, intelligent creature that is the donkey. I have been on the committee of the Irish Donkey Society (IDS) for a number of years and enjoy working closely with likeminded donkey lovers. I am head of the Donkey Section at Saintfield and Newry Show as well as well as being secretary of Cultra Championship Donkey Show which is held in the beautiful setting of the Ulster Folk Museum.

At the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society and in the RDS Dublin Horse Show, on behalf of the IDS, I am Chief Steward in the Donkey Section, organising the displays which involves showing the public how versatile the donkey is and that it was the back bone of the family farm in Ireland. Over the years we have included in the display farming implements such as ploughs and harrows and that the donkey was also used to take the family to their place of worship and to the market. The display also features some beautiful carriages.

Our donkeys have featured on BBC Countryfile and Blue Peter as well as taking part in Carol Services and Nativity plays. We have a donkey who is a regular visitor to the local nursing home as well as being an assistance donkey at the nursery for disabled children. Our driving pair has taken brides to church for their big day and one of our donkeys took a lovely lady to her final resting place.

Donkeys are such a big part of mine and my family’s life and they have given me so many years of joy, I feel truly blessed by having donkeys in my life as I have made friends around the world and got to know some wonderful people and experienced things that one can only dream about”.