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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Darko Vojinovic/PA Images Sanita Puspure competing in the final earlier today.
Uh oh

Shane Ross press release congratulates 'Dominant Puspure' for gold medal... but that's not her name

“Dominant Puspure dominated her rivals,” a quote from Minister Ross said, but a spokesperson said he had only seen the correct version of the release.

IT IS CUSTOMARY when Ireland enjoys a great sporting achievement for public figures like the president, the Taoiseach and the Minister for Sport to pay tribute to the sportspeople’s remarkable feats.

There were two such opportunities this weekend as, following Paul and Gary O’Donovan’s stunning victory in the men’s lightweight double sculls yesterday, Ireland’s Sanita Puspure won gold in an utterly dominant display today in the women’s single sculls final at the World Championships in Bulgaria.

Puspure finished with a time of 7:20:12 to be crowned world champion following an outstanding display from start to finish in Plovdiv, marking a brilliant comeback from a fourth place finish in Sarasota 12 months ago.

The Latvia-born sculler has represented Ireland for almost a decade, with today’s final presenting her best chance at a first ever World Championship medal following years of top displays as a flag bearer in green.

And, as usual, the tributes started to come in.

A press statement issued by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, however, got things a little wrong.

The subject line reads: “Ministers congratulate Dominant on her assured dominance which led to long deserved gold.”

As subject lines go, that’s sure to grab attention as her name is incorrect. But it doesn’t stop there.

A quote attributed to Shane Ross says: “But today we saw a performance of great tenacity and assurance as Dominant Puspure dominated her rivals in a brilliant single sculls final. Puspure has long deserved this gold. The celebrations in Cork will be mighty tonight and rightly so!”


How did this happen? Speculation has already begun on social media that it was actually a headline from RTÉ that may have caused the error.

Its story online reporting on Sanita’s win comes with the headline: Dominant Puspure powers to world rowing gold for Ireland.

In a lengthier email sent shortly afterwards by the Department, it contains further congratulations from Ross and Minister of State Brendan Griffin with Puspure’s name spelled correctly this time. 

A spokesperson for Minister Ross told that he was only shown the correct version that was sent out later.

He had no knowledge of the one that was sent containing the error, the spokesperson said, adding that it was sent due to an admin error.

With reporting from Aaron Gallagher

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