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Friday 6 December 2019

"There's no plans for Ireland deciding to leave the UK, is there?"

Another day, another zany US media interview.

Niall Gibbons: Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland
Niall Gibbons: Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland
Mike Horn, far right, with William Shatner and Cynthia Peck. Source:
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

A US radio host posed this bizarre question to Tourism Ireland chief executive, Niall Gibbons.

The exchange took place on CRN Talk Radio's What's Cookin' Today programme.

"I don't want to put you on the spot here Niall, but I want to find out," said co-host Mike Horn, before posing the blooper.

Gibbons laughed, admirably holding his composure.

"That's an interesting question. Ireland is a destination in itself. What we're encouraging people to do is to jump into Ireland. It's very much a standalone destination."

You can listen to the full exchange on What's Cookin' Today's podcasts here.

The interview took place in September, when Gibbons and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe - who also appeared on the show - were in Boston for Ifest, but has re-emerged in the wake of similarly absurd CNBC interview with the IDA's Martin Shanahan.

Shanahan likewise kept his cool, revealing to co-anchor Joe Kernen that Ireland is separate to Britain. He was also asked whether Ireland’s low tax policy helped it develop so many talented golfers.

A YouTube video of the incident (above) has since received over 530,000 views, with The New York Times describing Shanahan as an “unlikely viral video star.”

Gibbon's exchange has been slower to emerge, but word is spreading today.

Before he and Minister Donohoe even appeared on the show, Horn and his co-presenter joshed about getting into "the Irish spirit" and kissing the Blarney Stone.

"I could listen to Paschal Donohoe all day long," Horn gushed, admiring his Irish accent.

"You are just something else..."

"Well I could talk to you all day long about what Ireland has to offer," Donohoe responded.

CRN Talk Radio is a syndicator of radio programmes, with What's Cookin' Today airing on 250 stations across the US.

Horn is its founder and CEO.

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