President Higgins gave an address at “Beo”, a festival to celebrate the Irish language.
“Beo” is the biggest Irish language street festival of Bliain na Gaeilge 2018.
Click on the link below to read the President's speech.
Throughout his career, President Higgins has championed the Irish language and he was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Teilifís na Gaeilge, now TG4.
In his inauguration speech in November 2011, President Higgins said that his would be a Presidency of Ideas, and one sensitive to language, concepts and unspoken assumptions. Since then, he has on many occasions highlighted the central place of the Irish language in our history and culture, consistently encouraging people to speak the language, even if they only have the ‘cúpla focail.’
In his speeches, the President has called for a new ideas and commitment to spread the enthusiasm for the language and to encourage people to take it up. While preserving the language is important, the President encourages bilingualism and the creation of practical ‘Gaeltachtaí’ — in homes, schools and among friends.
In his 2016 ‘Ghaeilge sa Ghairdín’ speech, the President highlighted that the leaders of the 1916 Rising were inspired by a vision of an independent Ireland whose language was spoken and written, and that five of the seven who signed the Proclamation were active in the Irish Language League.
In his address to the 2016 Conradh na Gaeilge Ard Fheis, President Higgins recognised the difficulties involved in the promotion of Irish, but highlighted the progress being made and the growth of interest in the language.
In his speech at the celebrations of TG4’s 20th anniversary, the President paid tribute to the television station as a means to foster links between the dispersed communities that use Irish.
President Higgins is patron of the Bliain na Gaeilge initiative. You can watch his message at the start of the Year here.