Gaeilge goes galactic with ISS tweet


The first Canadian to walk in space had another first tonight when he became the first person to participate in an exchange as Gaeilge from outer space.

Former  Royal Canadian Air Force pilot Cmdr Chris Hadfield tweeted a night-time photograph of Dublin taken from the International Space Station (ISS) with a message written partly in Irish.

The Ontario-born flight engineer posted his tweet with the message: “@Cmdr_Hadfield: Tá Éire fíorálainn! Land of green hills & dark beer. With Dublin glowing in the Irish night.”

Cmdr Hadfield (53) first engaged the Irish Twitter community last month when he tweeted a daylight photograph of Dublin. He triggered a flurry of online responses when he admitted he was unsure as to what Irish, Welsh or English port city he had just snapped.

As with his first photograph of Dublin, tonight’s tweet attracted a great deal of online interest.

Many wondered if his daughter was to thank for his Irish after he participated in an “Ask me Anything” session on Reddit on Sunday during which he revealed that his daughter was residing in Ireland.

"@CilliandeBurca tweeted “Maith Thú A Cheannasaí! Nice to see there's some Gaeilge in space! :-)”

"@LaurenNiCuinn tweeted “is maith liom do cuid [sic] gaeilge. Go raibh maith agat!!!”

The Canadian Space Agency astronaut responded to his many Irish followers with the tweet: “Wow, I can feel the warmth of the Irish all the way up here - go raibh maith agaibh! I'll do my best to photo more cities as clouds clear.”

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