English politician asks Twitter why Micheál Martin's name isn't spelled ‘Michael’ - regrets it immediately
News

English politician asks Twitter why Micheál Martin's name isn't spelled ‘Michael’ - regrets it immediately

A CONSERVATIVE MP has been given short shrift by his Irish followers on Twitter after asking why Micheál Martin "doesn’t he spell his first name ‘Michael’?"

Michael Fabricant, the Member of Parliament for Lichfield and an avid Brexiteer, landed himself in a spot of bother on social media after taking umbrage with the new Taoiseach’s name. 

"He seems a lot more realistic than his predecessor Leo Varadkar," Fabricant tweeted.

"But the burning question is: Why doesn’t he spell his first name “Michael”?"

"It’s not an Irish name. It is from 3 Hebrew words: Mi Cha El. מי ח אל."

Advertisement

It wasn't long before the Tory politician found himself inundated with replies.

One follower replied: "His name is not spelled Micheal. It's Micheál. With the fada. You do know we have our own language on the island of Ireland?"

A second said: "It's part of the logic and history of the Irish language. We have slender vowels and broad vowels. Either side of a consonant, the vowels must match up. So Michael does not work but Mícheál does."

"Wow, you're right, Michael isn't an Irish name," a third sarcastically responded, adding "It also isn't the Taoiseach's name. Micheál is though. It's from Irish.

"The pronunciation and spelling is different which is usually a give away that it's not the same."

A fourth pondered: "It's spelled Micheál and we don't have a PM, we have a Taoiseach. Do you have this much trouble with all other languages and cultures?"

Another response went right for the jugular.

"It’s so heartwarming when a privileged Englishman questions why someone from another country with a different language chooses to spell his name differently to how the English spell it," they said.

"Sums up the whole issue of English exceptionalism."

One follower asked: "Would you like to comment on Michel (French), Mikhail (Greek, Russian), Mihály (Hungarian), Michele (Italian), Michal (Polish), Miguel (Portuguese, Spanish), Mihail (Romanian), Michiel (Dutch), Mikel (Swedish), Mihangel (Welsh), Miguel (Portuguese), Mikkel (Danish, Norweigian)?"

While another said: "The Taoiseach name is Micheál Martin, it's Irish not English. Plus you forgot the fada above the 'a'. There is plenty of Irish courses online that could educate you before send a tweet showing your ignorance."

One of the other dissenting voices appeared to plead with Fabricant to stop his line of questioning.

"Michael," they wrote.

"If everyone has to change the spelling of their names to accommodate people who can't be bothered to learn how to pronounce or spell, we're going to be here all day!"

It's fair to say Fabricant might think twice before asking that kind of question again.