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It's Taoiseach, not tea shop...

With dozens of TV satellite vans parked outside government buildings, it was only fitting that the BBC should offer advice on how to pronounce all those frightfully awkward Irish words.

We wouldn't want newsreaders like Fiona Bruce mangling Eamon ó Cuív's name now, would we?

Here is the advice given to BBC staff by its pronunciation unit (as published on bbc.co.uk):

"The Lower House, Dáil éireann, is pronounced DOYL AIR-uhn (-oy as in boy, -air as in hair).

"Taoiseach (or An Taoiseach) is the title for the head of government.

"The established anglicisation for this word is TEE-shock (-ee as in meet, -sh as in ship).''

This reminds us of the time Charles Haughey went to visit the Irish dressing room after a world cup football match in Rome, and met men in Green shirts with limited experience of Erin's shores.

"Who the f**k is he?" striker Tony Cascarino asked Niall Quinn.

"That's the Taoiseach," replied Niall.

"Who is it, Cas?" asked Andy Townsend.

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"I dunno," Cascarino replied. "Quinny says he owns a tea shop!"


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