In the 1560s Queen Elizabeth I expressed an interest in becoming familiar with the Irish language. Although the Queen was interested in learning and knowledge in general - she knew French, Italian, Latin and Greek - she mostly wanted to use the Irish language as a tool in her policy of controlling and anglicising rebellious Ireland, as well as spreading her own Protestant faith and the ideas of the Reformation, which encouraged Bibles written in people's native language, rather than Latin. Elizabeth had already provided funds to produce an Irish typeface to facilitate the publication of an Irish language Bible.
Christopher Nugent, Baron Devlin, an Anglo-Irish nobleman, was the author of the Irish Primer. It is a short work - just 18 pages - but is of interest as one of the earliest works, if not the earliest, to explain the language to non-Irish speakers, and to have Irish phrases translated into English and Latin (see facsimile here). It also includes a gushing address to the Queen ("moste gratious and vertuous Soueraigne").
You can click on a facsimile of every page of the Primer, and read more about it on this site. Click on Collections, then on Farmleigh House, then on Irish Primer. The alphabet and glossary can be found on f8 - f10. You can see the actual Primer in Episode 5 of the BBC history series The Great British Story (on BBC iPlayer here).
I decided to write this blog post after watching this programme myself on iPlayer earlier. As an aside - and quite unconnected to this topic - I attended an Old English language and literature course last weekend, held at Cambridge University's Madingley Hall. By coincidence, the Irish primer mentioned above was discovered in the 1860s or thereabouts in a cupboard in the very same Madingley Hall, which was once a private residence.
Here's a newspaper article on the Irish Primer.