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Obam-ination Barack Obama says Scotland is in 'Emerald Isles' and calls city 'Glass Cow'

"Since we’re in the Emerald Isles here, let me quote the bard, William Shakespeare"

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President Obama mistakenly referred to the UK as the ‘Emerald Isles’ (Andrew Milligan/PA)

President Obama mistakenly referred to the UK as the ‘Emerald Isles’ (Andrew Milligan/PA)

President Obama mistakenly referred to the UK as the ‘Emerald Isles’ (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Barack Obama missed the mark on a couple of occasions during his COP26 address in Glasgow, which has created some social-media eye-rolling. 

The former President immediately got on the wrong side of the audience after pronouncing the city where he was speaking as “Glass Cow” before declaring how he was in the Emerald Isles.

He compounded the gaffe by then quoting William Shakespeare, which didn’t go down well with the Scots.

"Since we’re in the Emerald Isles here, let me quote the bard, William Shakespeare," Obama said near the end of his 45-minute speech

This was before he referenced Othello, when he added: “What wound did ever heal but by degrees?

“Our planet has been wounded by our actions – those wounds won’t be healed today, or tomorrow, or the next, but they can be healed by degrees.

“If we start with that spirit and each of us can fight through the occasional frustration and dread, if we pledge to do our part and then follow through on those commitments, I believe we can secure a better future. We have to.

“And what a profound and noble task to set for ourselves.

“I’m ready for the long haul if you are, so let’s get to work.”

“Great speech by Obama #COP26 (little side note though, the Emerald Isle is Ireland not Scotland),” one person commented.

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Another wrote: “I like Obama. But Emerald Isles? Really?”

Holyrood Magazine editor Mandy Rhodes added: “A tiny bit of me died there when Obama said ‘we are here in the Emerald Isles’ [we are in Glass Cow].”

Despite the howlers, Obama’s speech did strike a chord when he criticised his successor Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris Agreement, stating: "I wasn’t real happy about that."

He also took a swipe at China and Russia’s leaders for failing to attend the conference and said their national plans for climate action “reflect a dangerous lack of urgency and willingness to maintain the status quo”.

As US President, Obama visited Ireland in 2011 with his family which saw them stop off at Moneygall in Offaly, his Irish ancestral home.

He also delivered a speech at College Green in Dublin in front of a packed audience.

The conference where Taoiseach Micheál Martin also delivered an address last week will conclude on Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Glasgow, environment minister Eamon Ryan quoted United States climate envoy John Kerry in saying that “this is the week that decides the decade.”

“My sense is that last week went reasonably well, in terms of some of the methane pledge and the deforestation pledge,” Ryan said.

“I think this Cop is about creating momentum for action and creating transparency and urgency for action.”

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