10 Irish Proverbs for St. Patrick’s Day

In preparation for Saint Patrick’s Day, I have put together a collection of 10 Irish proverbs from the vast array of quotations, poetry, prose, toasts, sayings, blessings, blarney, and other expressions from the Land of Saints and Scholars. I have also paired them with black and white Irish photographs from my Between Heaven and Earth gallery for your viewing pleasure.

Nuair a fhásann a craobhóg deacair go bhfuil sé deacair a twist é. Bíonn gach tosú lag.
When a twig grows hard it is difficult to twist it.  Every beginning is weak.

The Dark Hedges #1, Antrim, Northern Ireland, 2010

Dá fhaid é an lá tiocfaidh an tráthnóna.
No matter how long the day, the evening will come.

Churchyard Twilight, Waterford, Ireland, 2009

Meileann muilte Dé go mall ach meileann siad go mín.
The mills of God grind slowly but they grind finely.

Subsumed, Wicklow, Ireland, 2006

An rud is annamh is íontach.
What is seldom is wonderful.

Rapid Formations #2, Slea Head, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland, 2007

Is maith an scéalaí an aimsir.
Time is a great storyteller.

Suffusion, Glendalough, Wicklow, Ireland, 2006

Na daoine teacht agus dul, ach na cnoic fós.
The people come and go, but the hills remain.

Sanctuary In The Valley Of Two Lakes, Wicklow, Ireland, 2009

Bíonn súil le muir ach ní bhíonn súil le tír.
There’s hope from the ocean but none from the grave.

Dunluce Castle, Antrim, Northern Ireland, 2010

Uaireanta lá amháin athruithe gach rud; uaireanta rud ar bith athrú bliana.
Sometimes one day changes everything; sometimes years change nothing.

A Passage Through Time, Skellig Michael, Kerry, Ireland, 2010

An rud a líonas an tsúil líonann sé an croí.
What fills the eye fills the heart.

The Priest’s Stone, Skellig Michael, Kerry, Ireland, 2010

Folaíonn grá gráin.
Love is blind.

Flight, Dublin, Ireland, 2009

Bonus Irish blessing:

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

Isle Of The Blessed, Connemara, Galway, Ireland, 2008

Click for the full Ireland black and white photography gallery.


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