Monday 19 March 2018

Twitter reacts after Three advises Irish woman to 'translate name into English'

Caoimhe Ní Chathail (@CaoimheChats on Twitter)
Caoimhe Ní Chathail (@CaoimheChats on Twitter)
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A young Irish woman has caused a stir online after she was told by phone company to 'translate her name into English' to use their website.

Caoimhe Ní Chatháil (21) from Donegal reached out to Three on Twitter to complain that she couldn’t use her Irish name on their website.

She was advised by customer service to “use her English name" as their system doesn’t recognise “special characters”.

Caoimhe who is a fluent Irish speaker said that the website failed to recognise the word “Ní”.

“The fact that it’s an Irish company and an Irish website means that it should be able to pick up Irish names. It’s another example of the disrespect and ignorance that people have of the Irish language,” Caoimhe said.

The phone company's response has sparked both backlash and hilarity on social media.

Speaking to Matt Cooper on Today FM's The Last Word, Caoimhe said the issue is a recurring one.

"Every month I go onto the website to top up my phone and every month it doesn't put the fada on the Ní of my name," Caoimhe said.

"This morning I was particularly angry so I said I would tweet Three and ask why is it that I can't write my name.

"They said it doesn't accept fadas. For a company working here in Ireland, it's ridiculous.

"I couldn't believe that was the answer.

"And the fact that they suggested what the translation may be. Of course I know what it is, I just have no interest in using it."

And it's not over yet.

Caoimhe said she will follow up today's events with an email to see if Three will fix the issue.

"I'm not the only one who spells her name in Irish and I'm not the only one who uses her name in Irish," she added. 

Three have apologised for the slip-up and said they are working to rectify the issue.

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