Are you looking for unique ways to celebrate your Irish heritage? Irish tattoos represent a diverse array of designs that include everything from Celtic crosses to shamrocks. These tattoos all celebrate Irish pride and considering the Irish diaspora‘s huge impact, there are a number of descendants of Irish origin around the world who still hold the island Republic and its culture in high regard.
We wanted to get a better understanding of the Irish tattoos out there today so we took to social media to discover the latest and greatest designs that users are going wild for. We were not surprised to find a vast variety of tattoos that are likely to provide some excellent ideas for your very own design. Let’s take a look at some awesome Irish tattoos for ink inspiration.
These Irish Tattoos Prove That There Is No Right or Wrong Way to Go About Showing Your Pride.
Misneach is a word of Old Irish origin that means “courage” and “spirit.” It’s been tattooed in an understated font that looks fantastic.
A Claddagh ring is a traditional Irish ring in which a heart represents love, the crown stands for loyalty, and two clasped hands symbolize friendship or vows. Galway, Ireland has been producing rings with this image since 1700!
Sláinte Is Táinte
Fancy a pint? Guinness is a dry stout and one of the most successful beers internationally. It originated in Dublin in 1759!
A Celtic Harp
The Celtic Harp is an ancient instrument and symbol. It appears on Irish and British coins and the coat of arms of the Republic of Ireland. We found them a lot among Irish tattoos.
See? Here’s another awesome example that is one of the most treasured symbols of Ireland. If you’re wanting beautiful Irish tattoos, look no further than a Celtic harp.
The Irish name for the Emerald Isle is Éire. We find it here in a beautiful, Celtic-inspired script.
When the Irish Celts formed a new community, they planted a tree right at its center. The tree was called the Crann Bethadh, meaning “the Tree of Life.” Here’s a symbol of the tree that’s been inspired by illustrations done through the centuries. It’s one of the most popular Irish tattoos.
A Celtic Half-Sleeve
Here’s a half-sleeve tattoo that finds a variety of Celtic knots along with a Celtic cross. Knots and crosses are popular Irish tattoos and we’ll share more about them with you as this list goes on.
Rocking the Shamrock
There’s nothing wrong with getting one of Ireland’s most famed symbols tattooed on you. A shamrock can be done in a variety of styles and this minimalist form is a great idea.
A Good Luck Potion
Here’s another shamrock tattoo that imagines the symbol of luck inside a potion. It’s an interesting take and proof that you can take your Irish tattoos in many different directions.
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Saint Brigid’s Cross
Brigid’s crosses are linked to Brigid of Kildare, one of the patron saints of Ireland. The crosses have traditionally been made in Ireland on St. Brigid’s feast day which is February first. It looks pretty in tattoo form.
Watercolor Irish Isle
Watercolor tattoos are a huge trend today. We find the style employed to decorate this outline of the Irish Isle with splashes of colors found in its flag.
Family Crest Tattoo
“May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door. Sláinte!” the artist who shared this tattoo captioned it with the special toast.
The triskelion symbol has been found on artifacts from the Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages, especially relating to the La Tène culture and related Celtic traditions. It makes for some great Irish tattoos.
Super Clean Celtic Knot
Celtic knots have been around for centuries and have been used as decoration in the Celtic style of Insular art. They can be tattooed neatly like this example or be turned into bands and even figurative art.
A Full Sleeve
Here’s a big sleeve full of Irish tattoos. We’re treated to more Celtic knots as well as a knight holding a shield with a triskelion on it. It combines a lot of the imagery we’ve already covered into one bold statement.
A Tribute to the Irish Famine
This tattoo is based on an illustration believed to be by James Mahoney. The drawing is one of the most iconic images from Ireland’s Great Hunger, used in books, magazine articles, exhibitions, and social media. It is commonly referred to as “Bridget O’Donnell and Her Children in Clare.” It’s one of the most somber Irish tattoos on this list.
Eye of the Dragon
The Celtic Dragon is a mystical creature that represents sovereignty, power, or a chief or leader of a clan. It’s related to Pendragon the Celtic word meaning “chief.” Raising power is said to invoke the “Eye of the Dragon.”
An Irish Dagger
Here’s a simple black and grey tattoo that imagines a sort of Irish dagger with a braided handle and plenty of shamrocks for good measure. We don’t think it’s a reference to a specific object more of just a creative design.
A Song Thrush Stamp
The song thrush is a regular resident and winter visitor to Northern Ireland. It’s easy to recognize thanks to its melodious song. We find on an Irish stamp in this charming tattoo.
The Guinness toucan was first used as a marketing ploy in the 1930s. The symbol stuck and is remembered fondly to this day.
For an Irish-American, pride for both countries can be shared. We find that symbolized with an eagle and two flags representing both nationalities.
Book of Kells
This tattoo was inspired by an illuminated manuscript called the Book of Kells because it was housed at the Abbey Kells in Dublin for centuries. It’s one of our favorite Irish tattoos on this list that feels truly inspired.
Giant’s Causeway or Clochán an Aifir are basalt columns that extend for miles off of the coast of Northern Ireland. They form over 40,000 stone pillars. This tattoo is a celebration of them in the shape of Ireland.
This ancient Celtic symbol is called a Wuivre. “The Wuivre is a [representation of] the duality of the Celtic cosmos,” the person who shared this image explained. “The serpents were deities that inhabited the forests & [skies], hence they are used as a symbol to represent the power of the earth.”
There you go! Now, you’ve seen a bunch of Irish tattoos that tell a variety of stories. As you’ve seen, there is no right or wrong thing to draw inspiration from. Tattoos are all about self-expression, so think of something that’s most meaningful to you that relates to your Irish heritage. For even more tattoo fun, keep reading! We also have a list of Celtic knot Irish tattoos to share with you!
Take a Look at These Amazing Celtic Tattoos for Ink Inspiration!
One Knotty Sleeve
This person has taken the Celtic knot motif to the next level with a full-sleeve tattoo that stretches from wrist to shoulder. Find an artist who is versed in graphic design and you could walk away with something equally as stunning.
Another Knotted Sleeve
Here’s another example of a sleeve that’s all about the knots. You will find many ancient motifs here that are popular among Celtic tattoos including a Celtic cross and a shield.
One of the most popular Celtic tattoos that people get today is of the trinity knot. They represent a knot that can’t be untied and thus symbolize eternity, unity, love, and commitment.
A Triskelion is an ancient symbol that the Celts adopted thousands of years ago. You will see more of this sort of design on this list of Celtic tattoos. Here, however, we find the symbol turned into a half-sleeve tattoo.
Here’s that same symbol but done in a more minimal style that’s truer to the recognizable symbol. This ancient design is so old and well-known that it can be found in many European cultures. It even can be found on the Sicilian flag today represented by three legs.
Tree of Life
The tree of life is an ancient symbol of rebirth and eternity. We find a beautiful example in this Celtic tattoo that creates a circular motif through knots.
After the trinity symbol, Celtic crosses are the second most popular type of Celtic tattoos. It’s simply a cross that has Celtic knots worked through it.
Celtic Cross Part II
Here’s another example that’s been tattooed beautifully. White ink has been used as a highlight to make the knots appear 3D.
A Patchwork Knot
Here’s a patch tattoo that looks just like an embroidered patch. It resembles a Celtic shield which was a popular object among the Celts as ceremonial objects as well as for battle purposes.
Bands are also popular among Celtic tattoos. This simple knot one looks handsome and understated. Work with an artist with who you can collaborate well with and you could also have a Celtic band that looks this fresh.
Band Part II
Here’s another example of a band that contains texture in the form of small dots and vertical lines. If you’re not into the bold, black “fill” of the previous design, perhaps something like this will be more your taste.
Here’s another trinity symbol that’s been tattooed in a very thin, delicate line. Cute little, ornamental dots bring a touch of whimsy to the design and help it stand out from others like it.
A Symbol for Inner Strength
Here’s a Celtic symbol that the person who shared it described as representing “inner strength.” It’s a gorgeous one that we imagine will appeal to many who want Celtic tattoos.
Celtic shields are very popular designs that you will find in varying sizes. This rather large example contains a multitude of knots. As we mentioned earlier, these shields held sacred importance among ancient Celts which makes them very special tattoos.
Bold Will Hold
Here’s another example of a shield that’s been completed with thick, black lines that really stand out. This tattoo looks fantastic with the forearm placement but we feel something similar could work just about anywhere.
Another Shield Knot
Here’s a basic shield knot that the person who got it explained is a tribute to her father. Celtic tattoos are a special way to honor your family and its heritage.
Nuts for Knots
Here’s a very sharp example that has been tattooed with the utmost care. As you’ve likely guessed, black ink is the most popular style for Celtic tattoos and the classic look feels timeless and sophisticated.
Mother-Daughter Love Knots
We are huge fans of mother-daughter tattoos here at MU. In this example, we find a knot worked into a heart shape with the inclusion of floral elements which help sweeten the overall design.
Blue & Green
While black ink might be the most popular option, you can chart your own path. We find a lovely green and blue “fill” here that proves evocative and charming.
Crisp & Clean Family Knot
Here’s another Celtic knot tattoo that honors family. As you can likely see, it’s a symbol of fertility and parenthood with a larger figure connected to a smaller one.
Mother’s Celtic Knot
Here’s another form of the same knot that the person who shared it described as a “Mother’s Celtic knot.” It’s such a beautiful symbol that pays tribute to the ties that bind families together.
The Celtic deity, Cernunnos was often depicted with horns and often seated cross-legged. In this tattoo, we find a portrait of the deity here. He is considered the master of the beasts.
Celtic hooks are a symbol of plenty, vitality, and good fortune. This gorgeous example finds one of the lesser-done Celtic motifs with lovely knotwork running through it.
A Knotted Wolf
Celtic tattoos can be adapted in fresh ways for maximum self-expression. We find the common knotwork here worked into the shape of a wolf’s head. It presents with such a graphic quality and a touch of romance.
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The Celtic harp is a unique instrument that was played among the ancient Celts and still remains popular to this very day. It is known as cláirseach in Irish, clàrsach in Scottish Gaelic, telenn in Breton, and telyn in Welsh. It makes for a dramatic and beautiful tattoo!
There you have it! We hope you feel inspired by these Celtic tattoos and will consider getting one yourself. If you want to celebrate your Irish heritage, there is no better way to do so than with ink. Express yourself with one of these timeless tattoos and you won’t live to regret it.
- 1 These Irish Tattoos Prove That There Is No Right or Wrong Way to Go About Showing Your Pride.
- 1.1 Courage
- 1.2 Claddagh Ring-Inspired
- 1.3 Sláinte Is Táinte
- 1.4 A Celtic Harp
- 1.5 More Harp
- 1.6 Éire
- 1.7 Crann Bethadh
- 1.8 A Celtic Half-Sleeve
- 1.9 Rocking the Shamrock
- 1.10 A Good Luck Potion
- 1.11 Saint Brigid’s Cross
- 1.12 Watercolor Irish Isle
- 1.13 Family Crest Tattoo
- 1.14 Triskelion
- 1.15 Super Clean Celtic Knot
- 1.16 A Full Sleeve
- 1.17 A Tribute to the Irish Famine
- 1.18 Eye of the Dragon
- 1.19 An Irish Dagger
- 1.20 A Song Thrush Stamp
- 1.21 Guinness Toucan
- 1.22 Two Flags
- 1.23 Book of Kells
- 1.24 Giant’s Causeway
- 1.25 Wuivre
- 2 Take a Look at These Amazing Celtic Tattoos for Ink Inspiration!
- 2.1 One Knotty Sleeve
- 2.2 Another Knotted Sleeve
- 2.3 Trinity Knot
- 2.4 Triskelion
- 2.5 Celtic Triskele
- 2.6 Tree of Life
- 2.7 Celtic Cross
- 2.8 Celtic Cross Part II
- 2.9 A Patchwork Knot
- 2.10 A Band
- 2.11 Band Part II
- 2.12 Delicate Triquetra
- 2.13 A Symbol for Inner Strength
- 2.14 A Shield
- 2.15 Bold Will Hold
- 2.16 Another Shield Knot
- 2.17 Nuts for Knots
- 2.18 Mother-Daughter Love Knots
- 2.19 Blue & Green
- 2.20 Crisp & Clean Family Knot
- 2.21 Mother’s Celtic Knot
- 2.22 Cernunnos
- 2.23 A Fishhook
- 2.24 A Knotted Wolf
- 2.25 Celtic Harp
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