Canadian Tweets in Irish From the International Space Station
By Adam Farley, Editorial Assistant
April / May 2013
A galactic photograph of Dublin released via Twitter in February by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Cmdr. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, was accompanied by another small first: the first Irish language tweet from space.
Cmdr. Hadfield, a 52-year-old former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, snapped the night-time photo from the International Space Station (ISS) and then posted it to Twitter with a message written partially in Gaelic: “@Cmdr_Hadfield: Tá Éire fíorálainn! Land of green hills & dark beer. With capital Dublin glowing in the Irish night.”
Before he posted the photo, though, he made sure to confirm with his daughter that the city was in fact Dublin. His daughter, Kristin, is a 26-year-old PhD student at Trinity College’s School of Psychology and has been living in Dublin for two years. Ms. Hadfield told the Irish Independent her father received some flack in December because “he once posted a picture and didn’t realize it was of Dublin.”
Among the thousands of re-tweets and almost half a million delighted followers, the Irish Times reported:
“@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!!!”
Answering the many responses, Cmdr. Hadfield continued with Irish, tweeting, “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.”
Go raibh maith agat fein, Chris!