NI21, a new pro-union, political party launched in Belfast last week by MLAs Basil McCrea and John McAllister, has begun sending out tweets in Irish.
The BBC reports that the party, which supports the Belfast Agreement, said "it wanted to create politics for the 21st Century and build on the Northern Irish identity." It is the first pro-union party to regularly tweet in Irish.
Jonathan Rainey, who organizes the party's communications and is responsible for the tweets, said they would tweet in Irish "because our party is of interest to Irish speakers."
He added that NI21 has also tweeted in Spanish and would continue to tweet in Irish because the party "wanted to appeal to all." He said the tweets in Irish were part of a strategy to engage with as many people as possible.
One of the party's recent tweets "An mbeidh rath ar pháirtí úr Mhic Rath?" translates as, Will there be success for McCrea's new party?
The message is a play on words: the word rath means success and is contained in the surname Mac Rath, the Irish form of McCrea.
The party seems keen to embrace social media. NI21's Belfast launch was streamed live on the web, a first for a new political party, and its use of Twitter had attracted attention, including a parody account with almost 600 followers.
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