Sunday 19 January 2020

Exclusive: Minister for the Gaeltacht accidentally forwards all calls to Waterford man

Joe McHugh, Fine Gael deputy for Donegal North-East
Joe McHugh, Fine Gael deputy for Donegal North-East

Clare Cullen

The Minister of State with responsibility of Gaeltacht Affairs' calls have been "accidentally" forwarded to a Waterford man who had "never heard his name before in my life."

When attempting to contact the minister, learned that his calls had been forwarded - and not to the right person.

Patrick Ryan, from Waterford, said  "I don't know who this Joe fella is but people have been calling all day for him".

Ryan has been fielding McHugh's calls "all day, girl!", calculating at least "a dozen... no, more that that!"

"His mother-in-law rang... I stopped her and told her (before she could leave a message)".

Ryan did not know who Minister Joe McHugh was before today.

"Never heard his name before in my life.... He's the junior Minister for Gaeltacht or something, someone told me on the phone."

"If you're on to them, can you tell them (to sort it out) for me?"

None of the calls received so far have been in Irish, to Ryan's relief. "If they were, I wouldn't understand!...That's my one regret in life - going to the grave without speaking my native tongue". 

A representative for the office of the Minister confirmed that the move was "an accident".

"While attending the launch of Co. Donegal Event Guide National Heritage Week today, Minister McHugh’s phone was diverted to a number in error."

"This has now been rectified and the Minister has spoken and apologised to the person affected for any inconvenience caused."

Ryan, seems to be taking it in his stride. "It's not the end of the world, girl. We'll get over it".


Online Editors

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