10 Irish Tattoo Ideas

If you have a love for the emerald isle, these ten Irish tattoo ideas will set free your inner leprechaun. You don't have to wait until St. Patrick's Day to show your Irish pride when you are sporting ink like this.

  1. Shamrock. The shamrock is the consummate symbol of all things Irish, as clover grows abundantly all over Ireland. St. Patrick used the three leaves of the shamrock to teach about the Holy Trinity. Even before St. Patrick's arrival, the clover was thought to bring good luck.
  2. Irish Flag. The tricolor flag of Ireland makes a simple but bold statement of Irish Pride. The green, white and orange flag, adopted in 1848, represents the two prominent factions of the Irsih people, and the hope of peace.
  3. Celtic Harp. The harp has long been loved in Ireland . Harps were depicted on sixteenth century coins and a the symbol became part of the Irish flag in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The harp is also the logo for Guinness beer.
  4. "Erin go bragh.” This phrase means "Ireland forever." This phrase was found on flags used by Irish regiments in the United States Civil War.
  5. Leprechaun. The leprechaun is probably second only to the shamrock for ubiquitous Irish symbolism. The green suited guy will lead you to his pot of gold. Tattoo ideas range from the whimsical Lucky Charms leprechaun to the more sinister images found in horror movies.
  6. Celtic Cross. The Celtic cross is distinctive because of the circle or halo that circumscribes the intersection of the cross. These crosses are often seen carved in stone with detailed knot work designs.
  7. St Brigid's Cross. Saint Brigid is the patroness of Ireland. She is buried next to St. Patrick. Her intricate cross is commonly woven out of reeds and is said to be a protection against fire.
  8. Banshee. If you want to express the darker side of Irish folklore, a banshee image would make a great tattoo. The banshee's wail announces death. She is usually depicted as a cloaked woman.
  9. Claddagh. The claddagh symbolizes love, loyalty and friendship. This image consists of a crowned heart held by hands on either side. It is a romantic symbol that is often found on wedding rings and would make great matching tattoos for a couple.
  10. Celtic knot work. Intricate Celtic knot work makes a particularly good armband tattoo. The knots, braids and spirals can be combined in a variety of ways to give you a unique look.
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