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O’Briens a family of pet experts after double TV show appearance

AN animal loving local family is set to feature in not one, but two, episodes of a new Irish language television show.
The O’Brien family from Ennis are appearing in Peataí!, a show where experts give advice to pet owners, broadcast on both BBC2 Northern Ireland and RTÉ One.
The second show in the series, which will be broadcast this week, will feature 12-year old-Sophia and her brother nine-year-old Sam bringing their pet tortoise Dr Smallfoot to the vet.
Next week’s show will see six-year-old Ben and their mother Maggie bring their Old English Sheepdog Lollipop to Paul the groomer.
Dad Kieran told The Champion that the family, including little brother Max, are “very excited” to see themselves appear on screen this week.
He explained that they first became aware of the show when flyers were distributed at the children’s school.
“The kids asked me could we do it, and I sent off a few pictures. There was a lot of interest in it, 120 families applied.
“They got back to us and interviewed the kids as gaeilge, and that’s how we ended up on it.”
Dr Smallfoot and Lollipop are not their only pets, with Kieran revealing the family also have chickens, cats and other dogs.
Speaking as gaeilge was no problem to the children who attend Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg, but Irish isn’t the only language they speak.
“My wife is Polish, so they speak Polish at home and Irish all day in school and English with me.
“It was great during the filming some of those involved in the shoot were Polish and the kids were speaking with them in Polish.”
Kieran says it was a great experience taking part in the filming, and the children learned a lot about their animals.
“The kids got a full menu of what’s good for the animals and what’s bad for them. Hermann tortoises can live up to 120 years, so he’s going to outlive us all.”
The show welcomes gaelgeóirí and their pets from the four provinces, with presenter Tessa Fleming joined by vet Ellen Hegarty, groomer Paul Ó Gallachóir and behaviourist Paula Doohan at the Ark Farm in Newtownards, County Down.
With a rise in pet ownership in the last year, Peataí! showcases all that is weird and wonderful about sharing your life with an animal.
The programme is broadcast on Mondays at 10pm on BBC Two Northern Ireland, and Fridays at 7.30pm on RTÉ1. Peataí! is made for BBC Gaeilge and RTÉ by Big Mountain Productions with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund.

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