Taoiseach uses cúpla focal for the Year of Irish
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."
The Taoiseach was speaking as he and junior minister with responsibility for Gaeilge, Joe McHugh, yesterday announced that 2018 will be 'Bliain na Gaeilge' - the Year of Irish.
Next 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 and will see local and national institutions like the GAA, RTÉ and TG4 embark on a number of creative, artistic and community activities and events to celebrate the Irish language.
Fluent Irish speaker President Michael D Higgins is a patron of the programme, which aims to encourage fluent and semi-fluent speakers as well as complete novices to embrace the mother tongue. The programme got off to a rousing start, as children from Gaelscoil Cois Feabhail performed a jaunty version of the Mexican song 'La Bamba' as Gaeilge.