Martin Shanahan, the head of Ireland’s foreign development agency, appeared on CNBC’s popular business show Squawk Box on Monday.
As he tries to respond, co-anchor Joe Kernen injects with: “You have pounds anyway, don’t you, still?”
And then it all gets very embarrassing as the American host appears unwilling to accept Ireland’s currency, and asks why the country decided to adopt the euro.
Kernen: Why [do] you have euros in Ireland? Shanahan: Why wouldn't we have euros in Ireland? Kernen: Huh? I'd use the pound. Shanahan: No, we've had the euro for some time and we're very happy with it. Kernen: What about Scotland? I was using…Scottish, ugh… Shanahan: Scottish pounds, yes. They use sterling. Kernen: They use sterling? Shanahan: They use sterling. But we use euro. Kernen: What? Why would you do that? Shanahan: Why wouldn't we do that? Kernen: Why didn't Scotland? Shanahan: It's part of the UK, we're not. Kernen: Aren't you right next to, errr...? [motions with hands] Shanahan: We're very close but entirely separate. Kernen: It's sort of the same island isn't it? Shanahan: In the north of Ireland they have sterling. Kernen: They do? Shanahan: But we use euro. Kernen: That's just too confusing.
After another question on tourism from his co-host, Kernen, still unable to grasp the concept of Ireland using the euro, returns to the topic:
Kernen: Northern Ireland has the pound? Shanahan: Yes. Kernen: Oh my god, you guys have got to get it together over there.
Kernen: Northern Ireland should be the one not using the pound. Shanahan: I'm not sure I follow your logic entirely. Kernen: Well because they want to break away like Scotland. I don't know.
Following yet another discussion about golf, Kernen ends the segment with: “But you use the euro – you should never have done that. Anyway, thank you.”
Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.