Space station says hello to Ireland as Gaeilge

Night-time photograph of Dublin taken by Canadian Cmdr Chris Hadfield from the International Space Station and his tweet in Irish.

Night-time photograph of Dublin taken by Canadian Cmdr Chris Hadfield from the International Space Station and his tweet in Irish.

 

The first Canadian to walk in space had another first last night when he became the first person to participate in a Twitter 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 (or tuít in Irish) 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 port city he had just snapped.

As with his first photograph of Dublin, last night’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 living 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 astronaut responded to his many Irish followers: “Wow, I can feel the warmth of the Irish all the way up here – go raibh maith agaibh!”

* This article was amended on February 19th, 2013 to correct a syntactic error.