Irish (Gaeilge), also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of the population. It is considered to be an important part of the island’s culture and heritage. It enjoys constitutional status as the national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland. It is an official language of the European Union and an officially recognised minority language in Northern Ireland. A speaker of the language may be called a Gaeilgeoir both in Irish and in English..