Ivor Reid once thought the only people who knew Irish were enemies and wore balaclavas - but now he is the star of an animated production promoting the language in east Belfast and beyond.
In the production, the dad-of-two talks about how his eyes and ears were opened after picking up the language, and learning the meaning and history of the place names all around him.
In Ivor's Story, released by the Turas Project and available on various social media platforms, he speaks about first getting involved with the Irish language, and how he discovered the meaning behind places like Knocknagoney, the Hill of the Rabbits, and Carryduff, Black Hugh's Quarter.
"I never would have believed I'd be speaking Irish. I'm walking about the streets now and I understand what some of the place names mean," Ivor said.
"All of a sudden it opens your eyes and ears to things and you are curious to find these things out. It's a bit of fun and a bit of company."
The animated production is aimed at promoting the Irish language classes hosted by the East Belfast Mission's Turas project, which is funded by the Community Relations Council (CRC).
A 59-year-old driver by trade who grew up and has lived in strongly loyalist areas of east Belfast, Ivor admits he did view Irish as the language of 'the enemy'.
"I felt the Irish language didn't belong to me or to my community. It was the usual story - it was something to stay away from," he said.
His first real exposure was when driving a group of Irish language learners on a visit to the north west, and he was intrigued.
"I realised that some of the people who were going to the classes weren't my idea of what an Irish speaker was - I had this idea that they all wore balaclavas - and it intrigued me," said Ivor.
"I thought, these people are okay - they're from the same community I'm from. They asked me so many times to come along to the classes that I had to go - it was getting embarrassing.
"So, curiosity got the better of me and I went along - it was pure fun. After a few times of going, all the nonsense that I had in my head went away, and I thought, 'This is all right'."
Ivor's Story, produced by EnterYes, will be available on social media to coincide with the Seachtain na Gaeilge festival. It is a follow-up to Gail's Story last year, which focused on how learning Irish led one woman to embark on a new educational journey, the Turas.
Linda Ervine, Turas' Irish language development officer, said the project is now nearly 10 years old and the series will tell the stories of some of the hundreds of Irish learners in east Belfast.
In the early days, at a time when the flag protests were at their height, many attending were concerned about friends and neighbours finding out, but that changed as more people became involved.
"We were interested in hearing people's own stories about why they got involved with Irish and what they got out of it," Linda said. "We recorded those stories and made some of them into an animation, which is a simple way of telling those stories."
One of the forthcoming stories, she says, is about Chris, a gay Protestant woman, who describes coming to the Irish language as feeling like coming home, similarly to how she felt when she became involved in the gay community.
"That really fascinated and interested me, that people have a myriad of stories, and this challenges the idea that speaking Irish is all about politics and has a certain agenda," Linda said.