President Donald Trump seemed to be the subject of media mockery again on Thursday after he was accused of trying quote an Irish proverb to impress visiting Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the White House.
But the quote turned out to neither be Irish nor even a proverb, but a poem.
While with the Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, Trump said: “As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of that proverb – and this is a good one, this is one I like. I’ve heard it for many many years and I love it.
“Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue. But never forget to remember those who have stuck by you”.
He added: “A lot of us know that, we know it well. It’s a great phrase.”
Irish tweeters were swift to point out they’d never heard the so-called famous proverb.
“Irish Proverb” me hole. https://t.co/dWLregquCs
— mark little (@marklittlenews) March 16, 2017
Have literally never heard this in my entire life. https://t.co/3gSBhbvdl2
— Christine Bohan (@ChristineBohan) March 16, 2017
With all due respect to the president’s reputation for scrupulously checking his sources, I don’t think this is an Irish proverb. https://t.co/1EvGGMsE9r
— The Irish For 🏌🐕 (@theirishfor) March 16, 2017
A Nigerian man, Albashir Adam Alhassan told CNN he was surprised to learn that President Trump had read a few lines of his poetry at an event marking St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday.
He said “My sister just brought the news to me. I didn’t want to believe what she said initially,” Albasheer Adam Alhassan, a Nigerian banker who wrote the poem in college, said.
“I posted those things when I was back in school, over 10 years ago. I never thought it would get to this level.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t have been a banker, maybe I should have been a poet all my life!” Alhassan added.
Web checks also showed that the proverb linked to Alhassan’s poem. His poem is featured on PoemHunter, a website that collects famous poems, as well as verses submitted by users.
OK I’ve found trump’s ‘irish’ proverb. pic.twitter.com/ZsWPUvqDDL
— cólz (@colz) March 16, 2017
Alhassan submitted his poem in January 2013.