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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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Gerry Adams and Francois Hollande both got puppies for Christmas

But how will this play in the polls?

THEY MIGHT BOTH call themselves Socialists but aside from that French president Francois Hollande and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams generally have very little in common.

That was until yesterday when it emerged that both politicians got a little furry friend for Christmas.

A three-month-old black Labrador named Philae — after the comet probe — landed in the Elysee presidential palace on Christmas Day as a gift to Hollande from Canadian war veterans.

France Comet Landing French President Francois Hollande wears 3D glasses during a broadcast of the Rosetta mission in Paris last month. Source: Jacques Brinon

A presidential adviser, somewhat hilariously speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pup’s name was “both pretty and symbolic, a positive memory of French and European prowess that marked 2014.”

The Elysee staff are “joyful” at his arrival, the adviser said.

Meanwhile, Gerry Adams took to Twitter, as he always does, to tweet that Santa had brought him this little fella:

Philae is not the first labrador to gambol in the French halls of power.

Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Francois Mitterrand, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac all had pet labradors, among many other dogs who have stayed in the presidential palace.

US President Barack Obama is another world leader with high profile pets. His two Portuguese Water Dog’s Sunny and Bo are often pictured with the first family.

- with reporting from AFP

Read: 11 politicians and one (ex) garda commissioner who defined the political year

Read: What do these five politicians want for Christmas?

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Hugh O'Connell

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