A local horse-riding centre for disadvantaged children is in danger of closing, due to skyrocketing insurance costs.
The Fettercairn Youth Horse Project, a community-based equine centre in Tallaght, run horse riding lessons and camps for all ages.
The project trains young people in Fettercairn in horse riding, animal welfare and horse management skills.
It also operates training programmes for local schools and youth groups; riders with physical/ learning disabilities, and young people from socially excluded groups, including Travellers.
However, FYHP board member, Dara Larkin told Dublin Gazette their insurance has become so expensive they may not be able to continue operating.
“Our current insurance premium of €42,000 is unsustainable, and it threatens the very future of Fettercairn Youth Horse Project,” he said.
“Last year, we paid €8,500 for our public liability insurance.
“This cover was provided, through our broker, by a London based syndicate who, since the start of 2019, has withdrawn from the Irish equine market.
“We had to close down the project for two weeks.
“We were very fortunate to obtain alternative cover through a new broker; however, the cost of €42,000 was a huge increase on what we previously paid.
“Obviously though, this cost is not sustainable for the Horse Project long term.
“Our reserves have already been substantially reduced and the future of the Horse Project is now under threat.
“Actually, if we hadn’t got reserves saved, which gave us a bit of breathing space, we could have gone under.
“If the cost of the premium remains the same next year, then we will have to close which would be terrible for the community.
“Last year, we provided over 10,000 lessons.
“I just want to get our story out there and create awareness of what is happening.
“We’ll have to start looking at other ways to generate revenue, but we won’t give up on FYHP.”