Taoiseach Enda Kenny recently praised astronaut Chris Hadfield for his pictures of Ireland taken from Space.

Although a Canadian by birth, Commander Chris Hadfield became Ireland’s unofficial ‘green man’ in Space this year when he posted a series of stunning photographs of Ireland and even tweeted as Gaeilge from his five month orbit 370 km above the earth.

Enda Kenny spoke warmly of the 53-year-old astronaut who recently returned home, saying, "It's an amazing perspective on our world, not just the pictures he has taken, but his ability to see the beauty of our planet. Sometimes we need others to see how we're really doing and it was a great fillip when he said ‘ta Eire fioralainn’, and gave Ireland the thumbs up on St Patrick's Day," he told the Irish Independent.

On March 15 last, the Taoiseach sent Commander Hadfield a message via the official government twitter account, @merrionstreet.ie, writing, "@Cmdr_Hadfield Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny asks if you can keep an eye out for the 'greening' of the globe on Paddy's Day!", to which Hadfield replied, "I am looking forward to St Patrick's Day, and can see the whole diaspora from here – have some space surprises planned", reports the Irish Independent. Sure enough, on March 17, the Canadian posted a video recording of him singing 'Danny Boy' dressed in green jumper, shirt and bowtie. He also sent the first ever tweet as Gaeilge from Space courtesy of his daughter Kristen who is studying psychology in Trinity College.

When asked if he had any plans to meet Cmdr Hadfield in person, the Taoiseach was enthusiastic. "If he ever wishes to visit Ireland I would of course be happy to meet him," the Irish Independent reports. A trip to Ireland may not be too far off the cards for the astronaut as his daughter reveals he may well visit her at Trinity.

Ireland's Prime Minister Enda KennyAFP