Irish has finally become recognised as an official language of the EU

Irish has finally become recognised as an official language of the EU

President Michael D Higgins has welcomed the recognition of the Irish language by the European Union.

As of 1st January 2022, all documents published by the EU will now be translated into Irish.

President Higgins spoke about the importance of this moment being recognised at an international level.

“This full status is an important recognition at [an] international level of our specific identity as a people with a distinctive language of our own that we use alongside all the other languages we use and respect.


"It places our language on an equal footing with those of the founding members of the Union, and those of the Member States who have joined over the years since.

"This is a significant achievement, and it will be gratifying for many people to know that every day, the Irish language will now be in use in the European Union.

"While the language will now be in everyday use in the EU, we must now seize the opportunity to also take responsibility for ensuring that it means something in our own lives. I gcroílár gnóthaí laethúla na hEorpa; i gcroílár an tsaoil sa Bhaile".

President Higgins encouraged the people of Ireland to renew our own relationship with the Irish language, a hugely important part of our heritage as Irish people.


"Yes, we must learn the languages of our friends in Europe and use as much of their languages as we can, but there is immense significance to having our own language in use.

"We have made English our own, and we rightly take pride in our four Nobel laureates in literature in that language, but now we have a further linguistic tool for our reflections and exchanges.

"I do not take lightly the many reasons why people do not always feel a strong connection to the language, not least the varied experiences which people may have had in the education system in decades past. However, I would suggest that now is the time to make one great effort for the language".