Wednesday 18 October 2017

Red faces after Enda gets sex change in newspaper miss-hap

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

COULD the real Ms Kenny, ahem, Mr Kenny please stand up?

There was plenty of good-natured guffawing -- and red faces -- in the US after the 'New York Times' newspaper mistakenly reported that new Taoiseach Enda Kenny was female.

"Ms Kenny's centre-right Fine Gael party will now govern in a coalition with the centre-left Labour Party," read the report, published on March 9.

The top US paper was forced into a rapid retreat yesterday when it stated: "An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the new Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny as a female. Enda Kenny is a male."

The Government said the 'New York Times' was not contacted by the Department of the Taoiseach seeking a clarification about Mr Kenny's name -- they "did it by themselves".

But the matter wasn't allowed to rest there and, within a matter of hours, the Twitterati were busy.

"The New York Times reports on Ireland's new leader . . . Ms Enda Kenny I'm calling him Dame Enda from now on," tittered one Twitterer.

Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy retweeted the link to the 'New York Times' getting caught "in a spot of Enda gender bending".

"As an American in Ireland, the first time I heard Enda, it totally confused me. I would have no idea if I lived in the US that the name Enda was masculine, and it could easily be confused with Edna," tweeted Lisa O'Dwyer.

To be fair, the name 'Enda' according to the online baby name bibles, can be either a boy's or a girl's name, and is the anglicised version of Eanna, which, when translated, means 'like a bird'.

Journalist Sarah Lyall, whose name was attributed to the 'New York Times' report, went online to try and calm the convulsing Twitterers. "The only thing that makes this highly embarrassing mistake (slightly) less embarrassing, at least from my perspective, is that it was not in fact committed by me.

"I sent Mr Kenny to New York as a 'Mr'; an editor there seems to have randomly and unilaterally assigned him a new gender. We've now fixed it. I really apologise," the red-faced reporter signed off.

Irish Independent

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