13/1/14 Astronaut Chris Hadfield visits Gaelscoil Bhun Cranncha

An Foras Pátrúnachta / News from Schools / 13/1/14 Astronaut Chris Hadfield visits Gaelscoil Bhun Cranncha

The children at Gaelscoil Bhun Cranncha, Donegal, were over the moon this week when the famous astronaut, Chris Hadfield, visited the school.

Hadfield was the first Canadian to ever walk in space. In February 2013, he created a lot of hype when he sent this message on Twitter from the International Space Station:

“@Cmdr_Hadfield: Tá Éire fíorálainn! Land of green hills & dark beer. With capital Dublin glowing in the Irish night.”

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While visiting Ireland, Chris and his wife Helene visited Croke Park, The Guinness Storehouse and ‘Titanic Belfast’.

On January 13th 2014, Chris called into Gaelscoil Bhun Cranncha to improve his Irish.

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You can listen to the piece which was recorded by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on the day, here.

Speaking in Irish, Chris said:

“I came to Ireland as I am interested in Irish culture. I am fond of hurling and the Irish language. Ireland is a very beautiful place but Donegal is special. “

According to the school’s principal, Úna Ní Mhaoildeirg Uí Cheallaigh (below right), the children were very excited.

“Some of the children gave Chris an Irish lesson and it was really great. I don’t think we will have another school day like it,” she said.

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Thanks to photographer John McConnell (jmac.ie) who made these photographs available to us.