Downing Street denies Theresa May purchase of Waterford holiday home after April Fool's joke backfires
Yep, that's a genuine headline.
Brexit was supposed to happen last week, but you know how that went.
You probably also know that in 2019, the April Fool's gag has more strange power than ever.
Social media, press releases, newspapers (for those who still read them) and websites are dangerous places to engage with on the first of April, as people look to trick you into buying what what may not initially appear to be fake news.
Frank Ocean fans left devastated by no actual new surprise album.
McDonald's promoting sauce-assisted milkshakes.
Wowburger utilising drones to deliver their goods.
You get the idea. Basically, anything generated on April Fool's Day is to be approached with caution.
Except for anything here on JOE, of course. We wouldn't do that to you.
As for the team at the Munster Express, they had no problem trumpeting their big scoop that British Prime Minister Theresa May had apparently purchased a holiday home in Waterford.
The Dunmore East hideaway looked set to provide May with a place to lay low in her retirement years, only, of course, the whole thing was a hoax.
A hoax that ran on Wednesday, which was the third of April. Odd.
British PM buys house in Dunmore East. British Prime Minister Theresa May, has purchased a house in Dunmore East as a holiday home for when she leaves office. See this week's paper for full report. #brexit #TheresaMay@DiscoverDunmore @PurcellProps @MunsterExpress pic.twitter.com/RlwSBGTh6j
— Munster Express (@munsterexpress) April 3, 2019
Plenty of people fell for it - April Fool's Day was dead and buried for another year, after all - and the story was picked up by several news outlets.
Downing Street has since issued an official denial following a stream of telephone calls looking to verify the piece.
Speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 on Thursday morning, Munster Express journalist John O'Connor confirmed that his publication has pulled a fast one.
Despite the story running on 3 April, O'Connor insisted that the joke was valid.
So there you have it. 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin was right. Don't trust anyone, especially in the first few days of April.