Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has fallen victim to an online hoax which involved false claims that he had a fake profile on dating app Tinder.
In an audio recording cir- culated 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 to users without any context, the woman claims Mr Ahern told her friend he used a fake account on the dating app because he was public figure.
A spokesperson for Mr Ahern said the recording is "complete rubbish" and the contents are "100pc untrue".
"It's unfair that anyone would be have to be subjected to this in any walk of life, either political or otherwise," the spokesperson said.
"Something should be done to protect people from this sort of thing."
The hoax comes after Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, announced it would limit the number of times people could forward messages to crack down on fake news on the social media site.
WhatsApp's 1.5 billion users will now be limited to forwarding messages to five other recipients rather than the previous 20.
The messaging company came in for severe criticism last year when fake news spread through the app led to several inno- cent people being falsely acc-used of kidnapping children in India.
At least one person was killed by vigilante mobs as a result of totally misleading messages sparked by fear.