EIGHT out of 13 Czech ministers don't even know our Taoiseach's name, despite the fact that the Czech Republic is one of 10 countries due to join the EU ? of which Bertie Ahern is president ? next Saturday.

Answering a poll by a Czech newspaper this month, deputy prime minister Pavel Mares confessed he didn't know the Taoiseach's name, even though he had met him three months earlier.

"Irish names give me difficulties, " was minister Zdenek Skromach's excuse.

"Bertie and something beginning with 'A', " guessed education minister Petra Buzkova. Czech PM Vladimir Spidla declined to participate.

Legendary journalist Bob Woodward, meanwhile, refers to the Taoiseach as 'Bernie' Ahern in his new book Plan of Attack.