BY RACHEL McLAUGHLIN: The Canadian astronaut who tweeted ‘as Gaeilge’ from space last year will visit Donegal to brush up on his language skills.
As part of a nationwide holiday, Col. Chris Hadfield will travel to Inishowen and visit a Buncrana school to learn a ‘cúpla focal’ from the local pupils on Friday.
Chris will also attend a traditional music session and see the spectacular Inishowen Peninsula, the starting point of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Indeed many eyebrows were raised when Buncrana Town councillor Ciaran McLaughlin officially invited the astronaut to Donegal but it now appears that the idea certainly was ‘out of this world.’
The astronaut tweeted a photo of Donegal from the International Space Station last March:
“Donegal, one of the many famous places I’ve only seen from space.”
He also tweeted a few words in Irish:
“Tá Éire fíorálainn! Land of green hills & dark beer. With capital Dublin glowing in the Irish night.”
Soon Chris and his wife Helene will get to experience the county at ground-level. His visit to Ireland will be documented in three short films featuring different themes like our spectacular scenery, Irish culture and traditions, as well as major visitor attractions.
The films will be shared online and will surely put Inishowen and Donegal on the map as a top tourist destination, highlighting the many great things to see and do here on holiday. Top international travel and lifestyle media will also see the footage through the Tourism Ireland publicity campaign.
Chris will also be tweeting his experiences during the five-day ambassador tour, inspiring his more than one million Twitter followers to begin planning their own holiday to Donegal and Ireland this year.
CEO of Tourism Ireland Niall Gibbons said: “We are delighted to welcome Chris Hadfield to Inishowen and the North West. I would like to personally thank him for his tremendous generosity in agreeing to help us promote Ireland around the world.
“Of course, he already began promoting Ireland last year, with the dramatic photos he tweeted from the International Space Station to his huge Twitter fanbase.
“Chris is an enormously popular, global figure and I am confident that our films of his visit to Inishowen and Ireland will be seen and shared by millions of potential holidaymakers around the world – inspiring them to come and sample the destination for themselves.”Tags: