Irish tattoos can be comprised of many different tattoo styles. Pictures, lettering and symbols can all be seen in Irish style tattoos. These tattoos are most commonly seen on people of Irish nationality, but this style is popular in almost all tattoo shops around the world.
This is likely due to the worldwide recognition of many symbols originating in Irish heritage and history. Some of the Irish symbols are fanciful, while others are faith based, but all of the symbols have long histories in Irish culture.
The Shamrock – This three-leafed plant has always been associated with Celtic, and specifically Irish, heritage.
This plant grows in abundance in Ireland, and it is believed that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit all being one, yet separate at the same time.
Other legends say the shamrock, representing the number three were considered magical in Celtic lore and therefore brought luck.
The Leprechaun – One of the most widely recognized Irish symbols, the leprechaun and the legend behind it and known the world over.
In traditional Irish folklore the leprechaun is full of mischief and guards the pot of gold that is supposed to be at the end of every rainbow. Traditionally clothed in green and drawn in fairy tale style, the leprechaun is included in many Irish tattoos.
The Harp – A lesser known symbol to those outside of Ireland, the harp has a great significance to the Irish people. Referred to in documents going back to the Benedictine monks of the 8th century, the symbol of the harp was also used on coins, banners and flags throughout Irish history. The harps significance originates from the use of the instrument to entertain during Gaelic times.
Along with these symbols, there are many phrases used in Irish tattoos. These are commonly called Irish blessings. They can include religious phrases, philosophical thoughts and blessings for good.
As with any other language, should you choose to get the tattoo in the original Gaelic, be sure the translation is exactly what you wish to say. Here are a few examples of these popular phrases and blessings translated into English:
If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough.
For every wound, a balm.
For every sorrow, cheer.
For every storm, a calm.
For every thirst, a beer.
There are many of these blessings and phrases that would be a beautiful addition to your Irish tattoo. If you already have a tattoo with an Irish theme we would love to share pictures and any information you would like to tell about your tattoo. Please use our contact link to send your information and pictures.
Irish Marriage Blessing
God be with you and bless you.
May you see your childrens children.
May you be poor in misfortunes
and rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.
your day be touched
by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love.