Taoiseach Micheál Martin has sent a letter to a six-year-old boy who warmed people's hearts with his "virtual hug".
Adam King from Cork, who has brittle bones, shot to fame on RTÉ's Late Late Toy Show in November when he held up a paper heart with "A hug for you" written across it.
The idea was inspired by circumstances during the coronavirus pandemic, and Adam's virtual hug has now been made into a postmark by An Post.
In his letter, Mr Martin wrote: "In my speech to the country on Friday night, I thanked Ireland's children for their strength and for the way you all have coped with Covid.
“When I was saying it, I could not have believed that, just a few hours later, the country would see such a perfect example of that strength on the Late Late Toy Show.
“Your virtual hug and your obvious kindness made the point better than I ever could.”
During Adam's initial appearance on the show, he shared his interest in space, as well as his dream of becoming capcom — the flight communicator from the ground — for Nasa.
That prompted a surprise video message as well as a video call from retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, who told the youngster: "The way that you spoke, the way that you treated everybody around you, but the way that you showed us the things that you're dreaming of, I found it really inspiring."
Mr Martin encouraged Adam to follow his dream to work with Nasa, and thanked him for his “strength”.
“You are an inspiration, Adam. Thank you so much for the strength that you will have given to everyone watching,” he wrote.
“Continue to be yourself, and your dream to work with Nasa will surely come true.”–PA