Thursday 23 November 2017

Domhnall has his day with gift of a new coat from President

President Higgins presents a coat to the Irish Guards’ wolfhound Domhnall, with Prince Philip, at Windsor Castle
President Higgins presents a coat to the Irish Guards’ wolfhound Domhnall, with Prince Philip, at Windsor Castle

Sam Griffin

THE President's gift of a coat to a wolfhound in the British army was a return gesture which was 40 years in the making.

Michael D Higgins yesterday presented the Irish Guard regiment of the British army with a tailored coat for their wolfhound mascot, named Domhnall, as part of the opening-day ceremonies for the state visit.

The decision to gift a coat to the wolfhound was a response to a similar gesture dating back to 1972 when the Irish Guard presented a red coat to the Irish Army Fifth Battalion at a ceremony in Collins Barracks.

At the time, the Irish Army was without a coat for its wolfhound and in an effort to build ties between the two nations, the coat was gifted.

The idea to return the kind gesture four decades later was dreamt up by the Irish Wolfhound Club of Ireland who contacted Aras an Uachtarain before the visit.

Eddie Bourke from the club then got in touch with flag makers Project Design, based in Dublin city centre, who made the coat for the President to bring with him on his visit.

Domhnall was a gift to the Irish Guards by the Irish Wolfhound Club of Ireland during the Queen's visit here in 2011.

The wolfhound is one of Ireland's five national symbols alongside the harp, the shamrock, the round tower and the sunburst.

Irish Independent

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