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Back To School

Simon Harris plans to take Irish lessons to 'brush up' ahead of becoming Taoiseach

Harris won’t be the first politician to go back to school when it comes to learning Irish.

FINE GAEL’S NEW leader Simon Harris has said he intends to take Irish lessons.

In response to a question asked in Irish about his use of the language, Harris replied: “That’s a very fair question”. 

“I don’t have very much Irish, and I’m very honest in relation to that,” he said to reporters ahead of the party’s Ard Fheis in Galway today. 

“I certainly intend to brush up significantly on it,” he said. 

The prospective Taoiseach said that Conradh na Gaeilge had “very kindly offered to help” with his studies. 

While admitting his command of the language was lacking, Harris said that should not be interpreted as a lack of commitment to the promotion of Irish from him or the Government. 

“We need to do an awful lot more to promote the Irish language,” he said. 

He pointed to the example of Wales and the promotion of the Welsh language as a model to emulate. 

Harris won’t be the first politician to go back to school when it comes to learning Irish.

In 2017, then-TD Leo Varadkar completed an Irish speaking course and received a certificate for it, which he described as “a source of great pride”. 

The name on that certificate was a newly coined Irish version of Varadkar, de Varad.  

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