In 1987, the constructed international language of Esperanto celebrates its 100th birthday.

It may sound like Spanish or Italian, but it's not. It's Esperanto, an artificial universal language invented a hundred years ago by a Polish doctor to promote world peace.

Reporter Vincent Wall meets Máire Mullarney, Esperanto advocate and head of the Irish Esperanto Association, and chats to Annette Quigley whose children are learning the language. Annette says that the language is

Amazingly easy to pick up. It's very familiar. There are a lot of familiar words from other languages.

Annette became interested in Esperanto having bid for a series of lessons at a charity auction in aid of St James's Hospital. The lessons were given by Máire Mullarney.  

Vincent Hall visited Máire Mullarney at her home in Rathfarnham, Dublin for a quick lesson in the language. While the language has yet to gain ground in Ireland, Máire claims that it is growing in popularity internationally, especially in China. She also says that the international nature of the language provides a social network for speakers. 

This episode of 'Evening Extra' was broadcast on 13 October 1987. The reporter is Vincent Wall.

Evening Extra was a nightly magazine programme which ran from Monday to Friday at 7 pm dealing with current issues and people in the news.  The first episode was aired on Monday 13 October 1986 and it ran for 278 shows over 2 years until the final show on 29 April 1988. The programme had numerous presenters and reporters including Siobhan Cleary, Richard Crowley, Bibi Baskin, Aonghus McAnally and Shay Healy.