Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described a poem he received from a 12-year old girl, dedicated to frontline staff during Covid-19, as "moving".
He also called all the young people heroes and said he has been heartened by letters he has received from them "playing their part" since the crisis began.
Mr Varadkar made the comments in a letter to Cairah Beckham, from Kilberry, Co Meath, after he read her poem thanking healthcare staff for their "battle on the frontlines but without guns or tanks".
He wrote: "Your mum sent me a copy of your poem, Heroes At Home, I have to say you captured so much of the national mood and spirit, I found it very moving.
"I have been heartened by the letters I have received from young people who are playing their part, despite all the changes they have experienced.
"I have no doubt but that you are one of the heroes."
Mr Varadkar also encouraged Cairah to keep up the writing and nurture her "unique talent".
"You have a unique skill and if you have any more thoughts, please send them to me," he wrote.
The poem by the sixth class student at Wilkinstown NS has also been shared on social media by her favourite author, Helena Duggan.
"I was listening to Leo Varadkar talking about all the work nurses and doctors are doing and what they are facing as this virus spreads," Cairah said.
"All we are being asked to do is stay inside.
"I can't believe he took the time to read my poem and reply when he is so busy."
Mum Mary Jane said she sent the poem to the Oireachtas email but did not really expect a reply.
"We were shocked but so delighted to get this and that Cairah's work was recognised by the Taoiseach," she said.
Heroes At Home by Cairah Beckham
"They call it a pandemic. The worst since WWII. A disease, a scam, a virus. And nobody has a clue
"But when this beast o mighty. Landed on our shore. Our little island had no choice. But to go to war
"The ones who are really saving us. Aren't the army in their ranks. They're the nurses and the doctors. So in them we place our thanks
"As we stand in supermarkets. Wondering what to buy. A nurse stands in a corridor. Waiting for the next person to die
"They do battle on the front lines. But without guns or tanks. And we can never give enough. Gratitude or thanks
"They throw themselves in the way, Of Covid-19 deaths. They block and parry and prevent. Hundreds of last breaths
"At war, a soldier's aim is to kill with a thrust. But health workers do the opposite. So in them we place our trust
"Oh yes, we all think constantly. About the day when peace will be restored. And we will remember 2020. The year our little island roared
"We stand together but apart. To say with all our heart. Healthcare workers, You're providing a future for us to live and so we say.
"Go raibh mile maith agaibh."