96 Irish Quotes And Sayings

It’s hard to imagine a time when Irish people didn’t live in Ireland. In fact, the country of Ireland has been populated for centuries, with its earliest inhabitants being Gaelic speakers who migrated from Scotland and Northern England in the 6th century. Today, there are over four million Irish citizens living in Ireland with a fifth of them living in Dublin alone. Here are some of the best quotes about life in Ireland by people from all over the island.

The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God...
The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad, For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad. G.k. Chesterton
Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four...
Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat. Alex Levine
Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised...
Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why. James Joyce
Bí ann nó astáimse ag triall Ortagus má tácuirim geasa...
Bí ann nó astáimse ag triall Ortagus má tácuirim geasa Ortmé a shábháilón dreama deirgur fear fuarsa spéir Thú. Unknown
Katie shook her head in dismay. “I thought being poor was the worst thing that could happen to a girl.”“ No, Katie, ” the countess said in a clear voice. “The worst thing is to be in love with one man and have to marry another.” Katie O'Reilly to the Countess of Marbury in "Titanic Rhapsody Jina Bacarr
Skip your fancy talk, Captain Lord Blackthorn. If I do your bidding, and I’m still discussing that with the Almighty, it will only be to save my arse.” Katie O'Reilly to Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn in "Titanic Rhapsody Jina Bacarr
I was born Katie O’Reilly, ” she began. “Poor Irish, but proud of it. I boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger with nothing more than the clothes on my back. And the law at my heels.” Titanic Rhapsody Jina Bacarr
You were so intent on what your purpose would be. I remember it nearly word for word."" Recite it for me then, my Lainna."She smiled a warm, soft smile, and her eyes filled with light." You would waken in your bedchamber with your lady beside you... Leigh Ann Edwards
Our place is here, our time is now!
Our place is here, our time is now! " Killian firmly declared. Leigh Ann Edwards
I've no plans to couple with anyone other than my...
I've no plans to couple with anyone other than my new bride for the next century or so, and it feels as though it's takin' a century to get to it! Leigh Ann Edwards
As she glanced down at the great distance to the...
As she glanced down at the great distance to the ground below, she whispered in his ear, "You have obviously taken the heights of passion to an entirely new level, Killian O'Brien! Leigh Ann Edwards
I'm not singing for the future I'm not dreaming of...
I'm not singing for the future I'm not dreaming of the past I'm not talking of the fist time I never think about the last Shane MacGowan
Cad é an mhaith dom eagla a bheith orm? Ní...
Cad é an mhaith dom eagla a bheith orm? Ní shaorfadh eagla duine ón mbás, dar ndóigh. Peig Sayers
Some men never recover from education. Unknown
I knew one boy who passed through several schools a dunce and a laughing-stock; the National Board and the Intermediate Board had sat in judgment upon him and had damned him as a failure before men and angels. Yet a friend and fellow-worker of mine discovered that he was gifted with a wondrous sympathy for nature, that he loved and understood the ways of plants, that he had a strange minuteness and subtlety of observation–that, in short, he was the sort of boy likely to become an accomplished botanist. Unknown
If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ? . Alex Morritt
Wherever they went the Irish brought with them their books, many unseen in Europe for centuries and tied to their waists as signs of triumph, just as Irish heroes had once tied to their waists their enemies' heads. Where they went they brought their love of learning and their skills in bookmaking. In the bays and valleys of their exile, they reestablished literacy and breathed new life into the exhausted literary culture of Europe.And that is how the Irish saved civilization. Thomas Cahill
Shamrocks And roses In an ever green flock Now Up to your noses Turning into a high stock! People nice and seen All around you green! These lucky streams Realizing major dreams. In strives, when in pain Call oh call up my name, Know it isn't in vain... Ana Claudia Antunes
... I've a thirst on me I wouldn't sell for half a crown.- Give it a name, citizen, says Joe.- Wine of the country, says he.- What's yours? says Joe.- Ditto MacAnaspey, says I.- Three pints, Terry, says Joe. And how's the old heart, citizen? says he. James Joyce
What can I say? I'm Irish, I love a good...
What can I say? I'm Irish, I love a good potato. Sophia Tallon
I think being a woman is like being Irish... Everyone...
I think being a woman is like being Irish... Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the time. Iris Murdoch
If Canada had a soul (a doubtful proposition, Moses thought) then it wasn't to be found in Batoche or the Plains of Abraham or Fort Walsh or Charlottetown or Parliament Hill, but in The Caboose and thousands of bars like it that knit the country together from Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, to the far side of Vancouver Island. Mordecai Richler
Americans may say they love our accents (I have been accused of sounding 'like Princess Di') but the more thoughtful ones resent and rather dislike us as a nation and people, as friends of mine have found out by being on the edge of conversations where Americans assumed no Englishmen were listening. And it is the English, specifically, who are the targets of this. Few Americans have heard of Wales. All of them have heard of Ireland and many of them think they are Irish. Scotland gets a sort of free pass, especially since Braveheart re-established the Scots' anti- English credentials among the ignorant millions who get their history off the TV. Peter Hitchens
Irish people marry late, as a rule. We have that potato-famine DNA from the old country, that mentality where you don't give birth to anything until you have the potatoes all stored up to feed it. My ancestors were all shepherds who got married in their thirties and then stayed together for life, who had long and happy marriages, no doubt because they were already deaf. My grandparents courted for nine years before they married in 1933. . Rob Sheffield
Say what you said before again. The Irish thing. I want to say it back to you." He smiled. Took her hand. "You'll never pronounce it."" Yes, I will." Still smiling, he said it slowly, waited for her to fumble through. But her eyes stayed steady and serious as she brought his hand to her heart, laid hers on his, and repeated the words. She saw emotion move over his face. His heart leaped hard against her hand. "You undo me, Eve."He sat up, dropped his brow against hers. "Thank God for you, " he murmured in a voice gone raw. "Thank God for you. J.D. Robb
Your battles inspired me - not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead. James Joyce
Some ghosts are so quiet you would hardly know they were there. Bernie Mcgill
Funny how I keep forgetting you’re insane.” - Colleen O’Brien Shannon MacLeod
Identify yourself, ” Colleen demanded. “I’ve got a bat and I will beat the living shit out of you if you so much as blink. I’ve got a black belt, ” she lied frantically, “and…and…a gun. A big one.” - Colleen O’Brien Shannon MacLeod
Food shouldn’t be that shade of green, lass.” — Faolán MacIntyre Shannon MacLeod
His deep voice drifted to her through the crowd of women. “…my lady when she returns. Och, there ye are, Blossom, ” Faolán grinned, standing up and taking her hand so she could ease back into the restaurant booth. “These lasses were just asking if I was a stripper. I told them I doona think so, ” he said, his face clouded with uncertainty. “I’m not, am I?”The inquisitive lasses in question flushed scarlet and scattered to the four corners of the room at the murderous look on Colleen’s face. “No, you’re not, but I guess I can see how they’d think that, ” she muttered darkly. “What you are is a freaking estrogen magnet. Shannon MacLeod
Submitted for your approval--the curious case of Colleen O’Brien and thegorgeous time traveling Scot who landed in her living room.” — Rod Serling Shannon MacLeod
Och, lass. Yer going to have to not do that.” Faolán exhaled. “Creeping up on a man is a dangerous thing, and I confess I’m jumpier than most. Yer feet are soft as a cat’s.”“ I wasn’t creeping anywhere, I was going to make coffee and this is my house, I’ll creep anywhere I like, ” Colleen muttered with a petulant scowl. “But I wasn’t creeping. Shannon MacLeod
You turn the lights on and off here and if you can’t sleep and want something to read there are books in the living room…” her voice broke off. “Wait. Can you read?” His chin took a slight tilt upward. “Aye, ” Faolán replied, his voice cool, “in English, Gaelic, Latin, or French. My Welsh is a bit rusty, and I doona remember any of the Greek I was taught except for words not fit for a lady’s ears. I can also count all the way up to…” He looked down and wiggled his large bare toes, “…twenty.” — Faolán MacIntyre . Shannon MacLeod
Refusing to lean back against him, Colleen sat ramrod straight until they reached the road. “I guess I should say thank you for saving my life, ” she muttered then turned and slapped Faolán hard across the face. “And that’s for you having to save it in the first place. And I’m not your woman, you big, arrogant, lying, betraying…faery loving…” She searched for the perfect insult and couldn’t find one, “…Scot.” She gave a very unladylike snort. “Happy now? That fiery enough for you? . Shannon MacLeod
All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead. Samuel Beckett
The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child. English was the novelist Joseph Conrad's third language, and much of that seems piquant in his use of English was no doubt colored by his first language, which was Polish. And lucky indeed is the writer who has grown up in Ireland, for the English spoken there is so amusing and musical. I myself grew up in Indianapolis, where common speech sounds like a band saw cutting galvanized tin, and employs a vocabulary as unornamental as a monkey wrench. In some of the more remote hollows of Appalachia, children still grow up hearing songs and locutions of Elizabethan times. Yes, and many Americans grow up hearing a language other than English, or an English dialect a majority of Americans cannot understand. All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful. No matter what your first language, you should treasure it all your life. If it happens not to be standard English, and if it shows itself when you write standard English, the result is usually delightful, like a very pretty girl with one eye that is green and one that is blue. I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am. What alternatives do I have? The one most vehemently recommended by teachers has no doubt been pressed on you, as well: to write like cultivated Englishmen of a century or more ago. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Oh, trust me Sydney Tar Ponds, you aren’t the first Personification to be forgotten by somebody ordinary, ” Mearth sighed with a falsely-reassuring smile. Alecto stepped back from her, glaring hatefully. “Sydney Tar Ponds, ” Mearth added, “I’ve had so many ordinary people as friends in my life that by now I’ve forgotten all their names. At first it was difficult… very sad… to see them always leaving, dying, disappearing, ignoring, but after a while I realized that they weren’t worth the trouble. I’d rather be in the company of other Personifications. At least they aren’t always dropping dead like houseflies or sailing away to parts unknown. Nil sa saol seo ach ceo, i ni bheimid beo, ach seal beag gearr. Wouldn’t you agree?”“ No, ” Alecto told her. “I think you’re insane. Rebecca McNutt
There was always a big party on the night before anyone left for the States. They called it an American wake, because the whole community stayed up to keep the emigrants company through their last night on the island, just as they would have bidden farewell to a soul beginning the long journey towards eternity. There was almost no chance that anyone present would ever see the departed again Cole Moreton
After a taste of a Scot, you'll never look elsewhere again." A brunette smiled seductively, "That's quite a boast."" I'm quite a man. Donna Grant
Oberon’s been kidnapped along with one of the werewolves, and that’s why we’re all so upset. We’ll talk more tomorrow, and I promise to answer all your questions if I survive the night, ” I said. The widow’s eyebrows raised. “Ye’ve got all these nasty pooches to run around with and ye still might die?” “I’m going to go fight with a god, some demons, and a coven of witches who all want to kill me, ” I said, “so it’s a distinct possibility.” “Are y’goin’ t’kill ’em back?” “I’d certainly like to.” “Attaboy, ” the widow chuckled. “Off y’go, then. Kill every last one o’ the bastards and call me in the mornin’. Kevin Hearne
On the floor beside the spare pillow that had tumbled from the bed in her sleep was a single yellow flower. Five heart-shaped petals. As fresh and as pure as if it were in full bloom in a summer meadow. Drowsy and mind-fogged, she crept downstairs to look for a book on Irish wildflowers. It took her a while to find anything that resembled the yellow flower, but eventually she found an image and description that matched: "Cinquefoil, a flower renowned for its healing properties and a flower also said to be favored by fairy folk. Meanings associated with it include money, protection, sleep, prophetic dreams, and beloved daughter. Hazel Gaynor
I turned on the water then returned to the door jamb. “That’s not fair, you’re nice and clean.”“ I am?” He took a few steps toward me.“ Aren’t you?”“ No, ” he scowled and shook his head. “I’m dirty. But you knew that.” Now, if you haven’t heard an Irishman say the word “dirty” before, I will compare it with dynamite in your ovaries. They say it with like, seven Rs. Nicole Castro
An cinniúnt, is dócha: féach an féileacán úd thall atá ag foluain os cionn mo choinnle. Ní fada go loiscfear a sciatháin mhaiseacha: cá bhfios dúinne nach bhfuil a fhios sin aige, freisin? Unknown
So go love someone that wants to love you back. Whoever that lad is will be one lucky person. Alisa Mullen
More than loud acclaim, I love Books, silence, thought, my alcove. Pangur BánPoem by Anon Irish Monk, Translated by Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney
Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam. A country without a language is a country without a soul. Unknown
He had been thinking of how landscape moulds a language. It was impossible to imagine these hills giving forth anything but the soft syllables of Irish, just as only certain forms of German could be spoken on the high crags of Europe; or Dutch in the muddy, guttural, phlegmish lowlands. Alexander McCall Smith
I remember when I was a kid, seven years old maybe eight, I had an Irish girl who was taking care of us. Stereotypically named Maureen, about nineteen years old or twenty years old. She came upon me one day with my soldiers all set-up having a battle. Romans against Celts. She said, "Who's going to win?" I said, "The Romans are going to win, Romans always beat the Celts." She said, "Oh, really? What language are they currently speaking in Italy?" She says, "Bear in mind, back at home, we're still speaking the Irish. Of course, Irish, Gaelic, is a Celtic language, and you'll note that it ain't dead yet. Dan Carlin
Up and down' is Irish for anything at all--from crying into the dishes to full-blown psychosis. Though, now that I think about, a psychotic is more usually 'not quite herself'. Anne Enright
She knew them by their thick woven cloaks, their hanging hair and beards, and their Anglisc voices: words drumming like apples spilt over wooden boards, round, rich, stirring. Like her father’s words, and her mother’s, and her sister’s. Utterly unlike Onnen’s otter-swift British or the dark liquid gleam of Irish. Hild spoke each to each. Apples to apples, otter to otter, gleam to gleam, though only when her mother wasn’t there. Nicola Griffith
...that it is not the literal past, the 'facts' of history, that shape us, but images of the past embodied in language. Brian Friel
Irish and English are so widely separated in their mode of expression that nothing like a literal rendering from one language to the other is possible. Robin Flower
Hating is easy. It's loving that's hard Morgan Llywelyn
When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious. Edna OBrien
You're a Scott, " the Dark said, his lips peeled back in displeasure, as if just saying the word was revolting." And you're Irish. I'm so glad we got that settled. Donna Grant
The earth makes a sound as of sighs and the last drops fall from the emptied cloudless sky. A small boy, stretching out his hands and looking up at the blue sky, asked his mother how such a thing was possible. Fuck off, she said. Samuel Beckett
It’s simply this:the Irish kiss, a snog o’ bliss, be blessed luckfrom any miss. Richelle E. Goodrich
Corned beef and cabbage and leprechaun men. Colorful rainbows hide gold at their end. Shamrocks and clovers with three leaves plus one. Dress up in green–add a top hat for fun. Steal a quick kiss from the lasses in red. A tin whistle tune off the top of my head. Friends, raise a goblet and offer this to Richelle E. Goodrich
To anyone with a drop of Irish blood in them the land they live on is like their mother. It's the only thing that lasts, that's worth working for, for fighting for... Alexandra Ripley
There was a dark aura about him, a hint of caged power in that deceptively casual, sprawled poise. Danger personified. If this had been a film she would have expected to hear the warning wail of an electric guitar creep over the soft background bustle of the city. Heather R. Blair
That was it. To be a rolling stone. In the romantic places of the earth. Ready for a fight, a frolic, or a feed. And since I was Irish, since I was Billy Hamill's son, since I was from Brooklyn: a drink too. Pete Hamill
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to knowwhen you have gone too far Irish Blessing
Let the Moon and the Stars pour their healing light on you... Irish Blessing
If it’s only a kiss you want, I can kiss you with my clothes on.” Katie O'Reilly to Captain Lord Blackthorn in "Titanic Rhasody. Jina Bacarr
… in these new days and in these new pages a philosophical tradition of the spontaneity of speculation kind has been rekindled on the sacred isle of Éire, regardless of its creative custodian never having been taught how to freely speculate, how to profoundly question, and how to playfully define. Spontaneity of speculation being synonymous with the philosophical-poetic, the philosophical-poetic with the rural philosopher-poet, and by roundelay the rural philosopher-poet thee with the spontaneity of speculation be. And by the way of the rural what may we say? A philosopher-poet of illimitable space we say. Iohannes Scottus Ériugena the metaphor of old salutes you; salutes your lyrical ear and your skilful strumming of the rippling harp. (Source: Hearing in the Write, Canto 19, Ivy-muffled) . Richard McSweeney
Oh, now my Erin, she'd smile down on me no matter where I walked." Grandpop smiled that little smile again. "But I'd be separated from her, and I'd feel that separation in my soul, you see?" Nathan shook his head. Grandpop sighed. "You have the Irish eyes, boy. One of these days, you'll see from eyes, not your own, feel with a heart outside your chest. Wild Irish eyes. Nathan. When you love, love well and love true, and take care, lad, because those Irish eyes are windows into not just your own soul, but the soul of the one you love." Grandpop looked out at his Erin's grave." And when you lose that heart, you can't leave the places where your memories are the best. And if I left her, I'd not be buried beside her. Lora Leigh
More guilt, guilt, guilt. That's the Irish condition. Adrian McKinty
Father, I can’t take this, ” I said. “Why not?” “Because you’re a priest, Father.” “And my money’s no good because of it? What are you? A member of the Masonic Lodge?” “Naw, Father, ” I said. “I just feel guilty taking money from you.” “Well, you’re Irish and Jewish. You have to feel guilty over somethin’, don’t ya? Take the money and be happy ye have it. John William Tuohy
Margaret looked at the ring on her finger. "Gran gave me this before we boarded the ship. It's the most special thing in the world to me. I'll never take it off, Hanna. No matter how hungry I am. Meredith Jaeger
Atty’s eyes rested on Darby with all the subtlety of a dog watching his food bowl being filled! Tricia Murphy
Author? Author? Did you write these legs?'' Yes."' Well, I don't like dem. I don't like 'em at all at all. I could ha' writted better legs meself. Spike Milligan
The Celt, and his cromlechs, and his pillar-stones, these will not change much — indeed, it is doubtful if anybody at all changes at any time. In spite of hosts of deniers, and asserters, and wise-men, and professors, the majority still are adverse to sitting down to dine thirteen at a table, or being helped to salt, or walking under a ladder, of seeing a single magpie flirting his chequered tale. There are, of course, children of light who have set their faces against all this, although even a newspaperman, if you entice him into a cemetery at midnight, will believe in phantoms, for everyone is a visionary, if you scratch him deep enough. But the Celt, unlike any other, is a visionary without scratching. . W.b. Yeats
Irish improves a poet. Sina Queyras
She let her mind drift, thinking about new lingerie designs, wishing she'd brought along her sketchpad. Inspiration could strike at the most inconvenient times--in the shower, in the car, on this road--but she was grateful it was with her again, an old companion with whom she was getting reacquainted, pleased to find they could take up where they'd left off, as if there'd been no estrangement at all. Heather Barbieri
I give you my love & my luck. Don't throw either away. Kelly Moran
The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea. James Joyce
I'm Irish yet I don't drink as I refuse to be a stereotype and live down to the expectations of others. Stewart Stafford
Let justice be done tho the heavens fall. Michael Davitt
Her smile increased. She had perfect white regular teeth; Irish, Juliana decided. Only Irish blood could give that jawline such femininity. Philip K. Dick
Because you’re not a one-night girl, Irish.” (...) “You’re my forever girl. K.A. Tucker
Many people die of thirst but the Irish are born with one. Spike Milligan
My people - before I was changed - they exchanged this as a sign of devotion. It's a Claddagh ring. The hands represent friendship; the crown represents loyalty... and the heart... Well, you know... Wear it with the heart pointing towards you. It means you belong to somebody. Like this. Joss Whedon
To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart. Daniel Patrick Moynihan
We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English. Winston Churchill
Being Irish, I always had this love of words. Kenneth Branagh
There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting. John Millington Synge
Being Irish is very much a part of who I am. I take it everywhere with me. Colin Farrell
If it was raining soup, the Irish would go out with forks. Brendan Behan
I come from an Irish Catholic family, and hell-raising is part of the DNA. Brian Dennehy
I'm Irish, so I'm used to odd stews. I can take it. Just throw a lot of carrots and onions in there and I'll call it dinner. Liam Neeson
Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other ten percent I'll probably waste. Tug McGraw
The Irish Republican Army has kept every commitment made by its leadership. Gerry Adams
The gun is not out of Irish politics. Ian Paisley
I just wasn't cut out to be a Chinese Tiger Mom. I'm more of an Irish Setter Dad. P. J. ORourke