‘Admin error’ blamed for gaffe in Shane Ross statement on medal win

Minister’s office issued press release congratulating ‘Dominant Puspure’ on victory

 Minister for Sport  Shane Ross. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Minister for Sport Shane Ross. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

 

A press release from Minister for Transport and Sport Shane Ross congratulating ‘Dominant Puspure’ rather than Sanita Puspure for her women’s rowing gold medal win was an “admin error”, his department has said.

Puspure won gold at the World Rowing Championships on Sunday in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The 36-year-old win in the single sculls event follows brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan winning gold on Saturday. Many articles published after her victory noted Puspure’s ‘dominant’ performance.

In a press release on Sunday afternoon, Mr Ross is quoted as calling the rower ‘Dominant Puspure’ with no reference to her actual first name.

The statement was then followed by another press release where the mistake was corrected.

Ireland’s Sanita Puspure kisses the gold medal she won in the Women’s Single Sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv on Sunday. Photograph: Darko Vojinovic/AP.
Ireland’s Sanita Puspure kisses the gold medal she won in the Women’s Single Sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv on Sunday. Photograph: Darko Vojinovic/AP.

In the original statement, Mr Ross is quoted as saying: “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!”

Dominance

The press statement was sent out under the headline: “Ministers congratulate Dominant on her assured dominance which led to long deserved gold”.

A spokeswoman for Mr Ross said the first version of the press release was sent in an “admin error,” and the Minister had not seen the draft statement.

He only saw the second statement issued shortly afterwards by the press office, the spokeswoman added.

In the corrected press statement issued by the department Mr Ross said he would like to congratulate “Sanita Puspure on winning gold in the women’s single sculls,” as well as “Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty on becoming the first Irish women’s pair to qualify for a world final”.

“The wonderful results achieved by the team this week are a tribute to the hard work, commitment and dedication to reach the highest levels in their sport. I would like to wish all our rowers continued success in the future and especially with Tokyo in mind in two years’ time,” he said.