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President of Ireland

'A very much loved dog': President Higgins pays tribute following death of his dog Bród

The 11-year-old had been part of a much-loved double act with two-year-old Misneach.

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has paid tribute following the death of his dog Bród.

The President of Ireland’s official Twitter account tweeted this morning that Higgins and his wife Sabina were “sad to confirm that Bród, one of their two Bernese Mountain Dogs, has passed away at just past the age of 11″.

“Bród was 11 years and two months at Áras an Uachtaráin, having come to the Áras as a 8 week old puppy,” the statement reads.

“Bród was a very much loved dog by all that met him and he enjoyed meeting with the thousands of members of the public who came to Áras an Uachtaráin over the years and he was probably one of the most photographed dogs in Ireland.

“He will be missed by the President, Sabina and all at the Áras, particularly Misneach, the President’s remaining two and a half year old dog, who has shared his space with Bród over recent months and was his constant companion, aware of Bród’s situation and very attentive to him.”

The 11-year-old had been part of a much-loved double act with two-year-old Misneach, winning the hearts of the nation as they welcomed dignitaries and members of the public to Áras an Uachtaráin.

Prior to Misneach’s arrival in March 2021, Bród had been kept company by Síoda, another Bernese Mountain Dog who died following a short illness in September 2020.

The president’s dogs have become celebrities in their own right during his tenure, with unofficial social media accounts set up in their names attracting thousands of followers.

They were the focus of global attention as recently as last week, when videos of them “snubbing” US President Joe Biden during his visit to the Áras went viral and were reported on around the world.

President Higgins is known to be a dog lover and previously had another Bernese mountain dog called Shadow during his early years in the Phoenix Park.

Speaking about his dogs previously, he said they “are not merely ice-breakers, they’re also a great source of wisdom, and they must be protected from the stresses of the Anthropocene.”

The Bernese mountain dog is a giant breed that was originally bred in Switzerland as farm dogs or draft dogs, and were used to pull carts.

With reporting from Darragh McDonagh

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