Therapy pony Cream, who was stolen from a field outside Clonmel on Sunday night, has been reunited with her relieved owners.
The eight-year-old pony is a family pet for Jane Murphy, Anthony Fitzgerald and their children Erin, Anastasia and Anthony, but has also been an invaluable source of therapy for 11-year-old Erin, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.
Since Cream was stolen from a field in the Knocklofty area about 4km from Clonmel late on Sunday, the family were worried that they might not have seen her again.
"Erin would visit her maybe four or five times a week and just being able to sit on her is brilliant physiotherapy for her muscles," Mrs Murphy told RTÉ News.
"That would have been irreplacable. We could only have done private lessons instead and because of the cost that would have probably been just once a week."
She said it was "a huge relief" when they heard Cream had been located in Cork overnight.
The missing pony was the subject of a major appeal for information by the family and gardaí in Cahir, including Garda Jamie Ryan, and was brought to safety by gardaí in Mayfield, led by Sergeant Michael O'Connell, early this morning.
The case was highlighted and shared widely on social media since Monday.
Mr Fitzgerald travelled to Mayfield today and confirmed that the pony found by the gardaí was Cream, before bringing her back to a delighted family.
Update - Good news in the search for this missing pony. Recovered safely by neighbouring Gardaí in Cork today. The owners are currently on route to collect their pony from Mayfield Garda Station.— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) July 4, 2019
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Reporting by Conor Kane and Jennie O'Sullivan