On Wednesday, 7th February, President Michael D. Higgins graciously hosted the Irish Seed Savers Association at Áras an Uachtaráin for a courtesy call. During this special visit, the Irish Seed Savers Association presented President Higgins and Sabina Higgins with a Lough Key Crab tree, which will be planted at Áras an Uachtaráin in memory of their beloved Bernese Mountain Dog, Bród.

Bród, who passed away in April 2023 at the age of 11, had been a cherished member of the Higgins family since arriving as an 8-week-old puppy at the Áras. Over the years, Bród brought joy to the thousands of visitors who had the pleasure of meeting him during their visits to Áras an Uachtaráin.

The Lough Key Crab tree holds significant importance as it is part of the National Irish Heritage Apple Tree Collection conserved at the Irish Seed Savers Association. This unique tree, discovered in the estate of Lough Key Forest Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, within the stump of a beech tree, boasts beautiful deep pink blossom, dark purple tinged foliage, and deep crimson crab apples.

President Higgins expressed his gratitude for the meaningful gesture from the Irish Seed Savers Association, emphasizing the importance of preserving Ireland’s agricultural heritage. The planting of the Lough Key Crab tree at Áras an Uachtaráin serves as a poignant tribute to Bród and contributes to the protection of Ireland’s apple tree heritage.