British monarchy tweets in Irish
@Britishmonarchy Twitter account announces arrival of Uachtarán na hÉireann in London
Queen Elizabeth is no stranger to Irish. She used it to address guests at a special State Dinner in St Patrick’s Hall Dublin Castle in 2011. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
The British monarchy’s official twitter account (@Britishmonarchy) announced the President’s arrival with a tweet as Gaeilge this afternoon.
“Tá Londain bainte amach ag Uachtarán na hÉireann agus ag Bean Uí Uiginn, agus chuir ionadaí na Banríona fáilte rompu #Fáilte #CuairtStáit,” it announced at 5.45pm.
It wasn’t a first for the account - it previously announced details of Mr Higgins’s visit on March 25th in Irish (Sonraí na Cuairte Stáit deimhnithe ag Pálás Buckingham, chéad chuairt ar an Ríocht Aontaithe ag Uachtarán ar Éirinn).
Today’s tweet was positively received and was retweeted 400 times and marked as favourite 195 times within a short time. It also triggered an interesting stream of comments both from followers of @Britishmonarchy and others tweeting in Irish.
The significance of the British monarchy tweeting in Irish will not be lost on those familiar with Irish history - not least due to the numerous statutes and laws introduced over the centuries aimed at outlawing the language.
However, it was queen Elizabeth’s antecedent Queen Elizabeth I that provided the funds to the treasurer of St Patrick’s Cathedral Seán Ó Cearnaigh who then published the Protestant catechism Aibidil Gaoidheilge & Caiticiosma in 1571, the first book in Irish to be printed in Ireland.