Wednesday 20 September 2017

Enda who? Taoiseach misses out on listing in VIP yearbook

President Michael D. Higgins
President Michael D. Higgins
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Judge Frank Clarke
Cover of who's who 2014
Michael Noonan

John Meagher and Dick Barton

ENDA Kenny has led the country for the past 1,000 days, but his name does not appear in the latest edition of 'Who's Who', which is published today.

All 33,000 entries in what publisher Bloomsbury describes as the "world's longest established and most comprehensive general reference book" are invited to submit autobiographical information but, as nothing was received from the Taoiseach, he was omitted from the publication.

By contrast, the Mayo man's immediate predecessors in the post – Brian Cowen and Bertie Ahern – availed of the opportunity to be listed in the long-running VIP yearbook.

REPLY

"We have asked Mr Kenny to be in the book, but he has not yet replied," said a spokeswoman for 'Who's Who'.

"We have a system whereby, if someone does not reply the first year, we try again a second year.

"After that, a decision will be made whether to try them again or not."

This 166th edition features six new Ireland-related entries, including President Michael D Higgins and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

Everyone in 'Who's Who' – with the possible exception of the fugitive peer Lord Lucan, who vanished in November 1974 but who nevertheless remains in the guide – is invited to compile his or her own entry, so listings can be as long or as short as celebrities wish.

The entries of Mr Higgins and Mr Noonan are comparatively brief and modest.

The former tells his life story in 12 lines – three fewer than Pope Francis's entry and two shorter than that of US President Barack Obama – while the latter's listing runs to just seven lines.

Mr Higgins itemises his extensive educational qualifications and his long years of service in the Dail and Seanad. He also mentions his four collections of poetry, including 2004's An Arid Season.

Mr Noonan's entry includes a reference to his widower status and lists his various ministerial posts but neglects to mention any interests or hobbies.

With each person listed in the book asked the same questions, what is left out can be just as intriguing as what is put in.

The convention is to name spouses and ex-spouses, but Bertie Ahern's simply addresses his former marriage with a terse "m 1975 (separated)" and does not name his ex-wife, Miriam.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams mentions that he was "interned for suspected terrorist activity".

Among those newly listed are Supreme Court Judge, Frank Clarke, and the Church of Ireland Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, Rev Ferran Glenfield.

There are also entries for two Dublin-based academics – Ian Robertson, who is psychology professor at Trinity College, Dublin, and Werner Nahm, senior professor of theoretical physics at the Dublin Institute for Advance Studies.

While the vast majority of entries are written in a sombre, academic style, some of those listed allow room for their personalities to come through, with the controversial British newspaper columnist Julie Burchill listing her favoured recreational activities as "sex and shopping".

The 2014 edition of 'Who's Who' retails for £250 (€300).

Irish Independent

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