Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has fallen victim to an online hoax which involved false claims he had a fake profile on dating app Tinder.
In an audio recording circulated on WhatsApp, a woman makes an untrue claim that her friend met Mr Ahern for dinner after they made contact through the popular dating app.
In the hoax recording which was forwarded between users without any context, the woman claims Mr Ahern told her friend he used a fake account on the dating app because he was a public figure.
A spokesperson for Mr Ahern said the recording is “complete rubbish” and the contents are “100pc untrue”.
“It is unfair that anyone would be subjected to this in any walk of life either political or otherwise. Something should be done to protect people from this sort of thing,” the spokesperson said.
The hoax comes after Facebook, the company which owns WhatsApp, announced it would limit the number of times people could forward messages to crack down on fake news.
WhatsApp’s 1.5bn users will now be limited to forwarding messages to five other recipients rather than 20.
The messaging company came in for severe criticism last year when fake news spread through the app led to several people being falsely accused of kidnapping children in India.
At least one person in India was killed by vigilante mobs when they were wrongly accused of abducting children.