Irish Language Tattoo 💉: Are you, by any chance, looking to get a tattoo in Irish Gaelic? If so, then you have to remember a few things before going to your trusted tattoo artist. 


Are you a so-called ‘tattoo virgin’, or do you already have ink on your body/various parts of the body? Either way, chances are, you being here and reading this blog, that you want another one. And you want something done in Irish Gaelic.


Plenty of my friends, knowing that I work as a writer for an Irish language site that produces blogs and podcasts (that you should definitely check out, by the way), come to me and ask for advice that involves Irish Gaelic. A handful of them, in particular, asked for certain words or phrases translated into Irish. They have made it clear to me that they will get a tattoo of the Irish language translation, with some having already done so.


As a result, the wheels started spinning on planning for another interesting topic, and here we are today! Below, FluentIrish gives you some useful pointers to remember before getting your first Irish Gaelic tattoo. We suggest that you read on to learn more.



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What to remember before getting an Irish language tattoo

There are a couple of reasons why one would want a tattoo in the Irish language.


  • Reminding people of their identity – Did you know that 70 million people claim that they have Irish roots? If you are of Irish descent, then it would totally make sense to get a tattoo that will remind you of it. A lot of people want tattoos in the Irish language to honour their heritage.
  • To give them a reminder of their religion – A lot of our readers here have strong ties with their beliefs. And let me tell you, religion and spirituality both can be heavily associated with Irish. People use different religious symbols as a reference for their next tattoo. Symbols such as the Celtic cross, for example, have become a traditional Christian symbol, and an example of a popular figure that people get as a tattoo.
  • The uniqueness of an Irish language tattoo – Forget the ever-popular Chinese symbols, roses, skulls, dragons and lions. A lot of people nowadays want to stand out and have something different for tattoos, and an Irish language tattoo seems perfect for that! However, we advise you to think of more unique Irish phrases than those which many people already have. And more importantly, we also suggest that you learn what the Irish phrase really means before getting it tattooed on your body. You never know, you may get a tattoo that has a completely different meaning than the one you want.
  • The beauty of the Irish language – I, along with many other people, wholeheartedly agree that the Irish language is one of the most beautiful languages for all the right reasons.


Meaning of the most common tattoos in Irish


If you wish to get an Irish language tattoo with meaning, then you must first do your extensive research, even if a lot of people already have these tattoos. Getting a tattoo is no joke. Tattoos are permanent with the exception of laser removal. And getting lasered to remove a tattoo is very expensive, just to remind you.


Nonetheless, we share with you the most common Irish symbols and phrases that people usually get.


Celtic cross


One of the most famous Irish symbols, and tattoo designs, is the Celtic cross. If you think about Irish, the Celtic cross will almost always certainly come to mind. Basically, it is a cross with a circle of light behind or halo intersecting it.


History suggests that St Patrick introduced the Celtic cross to the Celts when he tried to convert the pagan Irish to Christians. He was said to combine it with the sun cross so he can better convert the pagans.

celtic cross for irish language tattoo




The shamrock, or Irish clover, is another famous Irish symbol that lots of people get a tattoo of. We know of the clover because of St Patrick, similar to the Celtic cross.


According to him, the three leaves of a clover represent the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This was another one of his ways to convert Celtic pagans to Christianity.


Nowadays, we associate the shamrock with luck, especially the rare four-leaf clover. Now, having a shamrock tattoo means you welcome good luck.


Irish clover or shamrock


The Triquetra


Finally, we have the Triquetra. Do you know what it is?


Basically, the Triquetra are three interlocking loops the Celtics recognise as a symbol of infinity. This type of Celtic knot symbolises protection, meaning people get this tattoo design as a sign of protection. Like the shamrock, the Triquetra’s three loops also represent the Holy Trinity.




Most common Irish language tattoo phrases


According to Tattoo Stylist, three of the most common Irish phrases are as follows:


  • “Mo Chuisle” –  My love or pulse of my heart
  • “Tada Gan Iarracht” – Nothing without effort
  • “Gra’ Mo Chroi” – Love of my heart


Again, make sure that you know the meaning of the Irish phrase before getting it tattooed on your body. Do not use Google Translator and other fishy sites to search for Irish phrases. 


Learn Irish through FluentIrish


Now that we have shared with you some useful information and tips when getting an Irish language tattoo, we also want to discuss with you how we can help you in everything Irish-related.


ba mhaith linn plé leat freisin conas is féidir linn cabhrú leat i ngach rud a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge.


If you can understand simple Irish, you will want to improve. FluentIrish is here for you. Listen every day to get on with Irish.

Má tá tú ábalta Gaeilge shimplí a thuiscint – beidh tú ag iarraidh biseach a dhéanamh. Tá Fluentirish anseo faoi do choinne. Bí ag éisteacht gach aon lá chun a bheith ag gabháil ar aghaidh i nGaeilge.

We provide informative blogs and helpful podcasts that can help in your quest to learn the Irish language.


>>Which level?: Find out which level of spoken Irish you understand!