President Higgins to get a pet pony following death of beloved dog Síoda
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President Higgins to get a pet pony following death of beloved dog Síoda

THERE IS to be a new addition to the family at Áras an Uachtaráin as President Higgins is set to get a pet pony.

In September of this year, one of President Higgins's beloved Bermese Mountain Dogs, Síoda, sadly passed away following a short illness.

A staple on the grounds of the Áras an Uachtaráin, Síoda could often be seen with her brother, Bród, stealing the spotlight from high-profile visitors and interrupting official events to demand belly rubs.

Her death led to an outpouring of love from animal lovers across Ireland and beyond, and a mural in tribute to the beloved pet even popped up in Dublin.

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President Higgins's dogs, Bród and Síoda, could always be found at the heart of the action whenever there were visitors to the Áras

Many had expressed concern that her brother, Bród, would be missing his partner in crime, and so the news that the President is set to get another pet is a welcome one.

According to Irish outlet The Irish Field, Galway's Kylemore Abbey is to send one of their Connemara Ponies to Dublin, where it will graze in the grounds of the Áras in Phoenix Park from May to September each year.

Kylemore Abbey’s executive director, Conor Coyne, told the outlet that Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina, visited the Abbey during the summer, and spoke about sharing some of the Abbey's foals and horses as part of the Áras's biodiversity grazing strategy.

The partnership will "provide an opportunity to get national and international media coverage" for Connemara ponies, and will be the "beginning of developing a more educational experience for the breed," Mr Coyne added.

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Kylemore Abbey are currently growing their herd of ponies, and their first foal, Peaceful Paschal, was born on Easter Sunday this year.

Four more foals are expected to be born next year, and each of them will be named under the prefix of 'Peaceful'.

The news was welcomed by those who were saddened at Síoda's passing in September, with many on social media expressing happiness that Bród would have another animal to keep him company again.

"I can't believe Bród is getting a pony for Christmas," one Twitter user, Eimear Flanagan, wrote.