Dustin the Turkey has reason to be grateful today, after receiving a Thanksgiving pardon from the Acting US Ambassador to Ireland.

Traditionally, US presidents "pardon" one specially selected turkey at the White House every November, sparing them a date with a dinner plate for the US holiday Thanksgiving.

It is unusual for ambassadors to perform the function, but Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy Reece Smyth made an exception, and pardoned Dustin at a Thanksgiving Reception at the US Ambassador’s Residence in Dublin.

Mr Smyth said: "I had to think long and hard and I consulted with many members of the Irish public on what was the best course of action.

"While opinion was divided on whether it was time to finally roast this turkey, ultimately I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and spare him. I just hope he appreciates this second chance and doesn’t let me down in the future"

After the event, Dustin said: "I simply hope that my own great leader President Michael D Higgins will take the nod from the Americans and pardon me this Christmas. Go on ye good thing."

In the US, meanwhile, US President Donald Trump's pardon was music for Drumstick's ears, as the turkey plucked a repreive.