Addressing a St Patrick’s Day reception, Donald Trump tried to reach out to Ireland, reciting what was widely reported as an “Irish proverb”.

Standing alongside Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, the US president’s recital was an appeal to remember friends that “have stuck by you” – the only problem is, it wasn’t Irish and it wasn’t a proverb. Here he is addressing the luncheon in the US Capitol:

Now it’s been widely reported Trump believed the excerpt was Irish – although to be fair to the president he never actually said that – but many Irish people have since respectfully disagreed…

It seems they’re right too. Here’s what the president said:

“Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.”

After a little research online it’s since been pointed out the words are lifted from a poem called “Remember to forget” written by Albashir Adam Alhassan – a Nigerian poet.

Trump had said the phrase was “one I like” and that he’s heard “for many, many years” which seems relatively impressive when according to Alhassan posted the poem in 2013.

In fairness to Trump – or to the person who found the quote – the phrase has been quoted on Pinterest boards as Irish and a proverb.



Perhaps Trump needed a bit more research needed to go a tiny bit further than Pinterest – especially since it’s been pointed out the quote isn’t even a proverb.

A proverb is a short, pithy piece of advice or general statement of a truth – not a piece of verse.

As an example, here’s one Twitter user’s suggestion of an Irish proverb he thinks Trump hasn’t paid attention to…

Happy St Patrick’s Day!