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Sunday 20 April 2014

Enda Kenny bids farewell to 'Nadiba' in book of condolence blunder

10/12/2013 Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD & South African ambassador to Ireland Azwindini Jeremiah Ndou at The Ambassadors residence, Dublin where the Taoiseach signed a book of condolence in memory of Nelson Mandela. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD & South African ambassador to Ireland Azwindini Jeremiah Ndou at The Ambassadors residence, Dublin where the Taoiseach signed a book of condolence in memory of Nelson Mandela. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The Taoiseach signed a book of condolence for Nelson Mandela today but got a little confused.

However, from his writing, the Taoiseach looked to be in two minds over whether to call the former President "Nelson" or "Madiba", and the muddled result appeared to read "Nadiba".

In his tribute he described South Africa's iconic leader as "a great loss to humanity", and paraphrased the famous line from Dylan Thomas, adding "he did not go gently into that good night".

The book was opened at the  Ballsbridge residence of the South African ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Azwindini Jeremiah Ndou.

President Michael D Higgins is representing the Irish State and people at the memorial service in Johannesburg today.

In an earlier statement paying tribute to the former South Africa president, Mr Kenny said: "The name Mandela stirred our conscience and our hearts. It became synonymous with the pursuit of dignity and freedom across the globe."

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