Friday 16 November 2018

'It's not about getting it perfect, it's about having fun' - Varadkar launches new programme celebrating Irish language

Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar showed off his newly-acquired language skills as he spoke entirely ‘as gaeilge’ to announce a new programme next year celebrating the Irish language.

Drawing on his own recent experience in language training he said: “My philosophy towards Irish is just to speak it! Speak Irish! It’s not about getting it perfect – it’s about having fun and making an effort to speak it.”

He made the comments as he and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Joe McHugh, this afternoon announced that 2018 will be ‘Bliain na Gaeilge’ - the Year of Irish.

The New Year has been specially designated as a special year to celebrate the national language and the Gaeltacht.

It is a follow-on from last year’s 2016 Centenary programme that will see local and national institutions like the GAA, RTÉ and TG4 embark on a number of creative, artistic and community activities and events celebrate the Irish language.

Fluent Irish speaker President Michael D. Higgins is a patron of the programme that aims to encourage fluent and semi-fluent speakers as well as complete novices to embrace the Irish tongue.

The year got off to a rousing start as children from the Gaelscoil Cois Feabhail Choir performed a jaunty version of the Mexican folk song ‘La Bamba’ in Irish at the launch.

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