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Irish Quips and Quotes Page 2

Every few days, we post a quote, saying, proverb or delightful bit of Irish wit. Enjoy!

We have recently reorganized our Quotes. We realized that there were just too many of them on one page (we can be a bit slow at times). So,we have divided them up into four categories.
This one - Quotes - is the serious page; uplifting, thought-provoking and insightful.

Click for the others:
Wit & Humor
Proverbs & Sayings

We often have difficulty validating a quote source. If you catch an error or you have a source for the, all too common, anonymous, let us know. Please, though, give us an authoritative source or, at least, corroboration. Otherwise, we just have dozens of contradictory opinions.
Click to
send us an E-mail.

Maeve Binchy
on giving
" have been blessed with friends who do things rather than buy things: friends who will change books at the library, take a bag of your old clothes to a thrift store, bring you cuttings and plant them in a window box, fill the bird feeder in your garden when you can't get out. What do I do for friends? Not enough, but I can help them write difficult letters because I know writing should always be shorter rather than longer and clearer rather than more complicated. I make lists of good DVDs to rent so they wont be perplexed at the store. I take great pictures of them at happy times and send them copies, and I show them how to construct a family tree, which they always end up loving. Never mind the money, the gifts of time and skill call into being the richest marketplace in the world."
May 28 1940 – 30 July 2012 RIP
Source: Tree Huggger/Oprah Magazine
Photo Credit: Irish Times

No man is so old as to believe he cannot live one more year.
Sean O’Casey Irish playwright born on March 30, 1880 and died on September 18, 1964.
Photo credit: Britannica Student Encyclopedia

The following quote by Fr. Mychal Judge came from a sermon at the Rededication Mass for the firehouse of Engine 73 and Ladder 42, the former home of Fire Commissioner Tom Von Essen. The date was September 10, 2001 - less than 24 hours before Fr. Mychal died at Ground Zero on 9/11.
ED. NOTE: These details were provided by James McCarthy. Go raibh maith agat, Jim!

"Good days, bad days, but never a boring day on this job. You do what God has called you to do. You show up, you put one foot in front of the other, and you do your job, which is a mystery and a surprise. You have no idea, when you get in that rig, what God is calling you to. But he needs you; so keep going. Keep supporting each other. Be kind to each other. Love each other. Work together. You love the job. We all do. What a blessing that is.”

With his friendly patter between songs, Makem could make every one of his listeners feel part Irish and proud of it...Makem has his audience ready to go out and die for Ireland.
The New York Times; Oct. 12, 1999

“Life has moved on but in ways which would not have been possible without the sacrifice, courage and devotion of those whose lives were taken. Let us remember with quiet pride and quiet admiration those who gave so much.”
Attributed to the former Archbishop of the Church of Ireland, Lord Eames, in reference to the end of Operation Banner - the British Army’s 38-year occupation of Northern Ireland.
Photo Credit: BBC

Don’t be surprised
If I demur, for, be advised
My passport’s green.
No glass of ours was ever raised
To toast The Queen.
Seamus Heaney in an open letter from a Field Day Pamphlet rebuking the editors of the Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry for including him among its authors.

Ireland is not just the country of a thousand welcomes but a country of equal opportunity. Ireland has changed and will never be the same again but I say this is a good thing.”
Rotimi Adebari, Ireland’s first black mayor who was elected to the office in Portlaois, Co. Laois

After 10 years and more of the peace process, this generation has built a solid foundation. Now it's time to build a better future for the generations to come.
An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern

I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one, I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days. I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun, of happy memories that I leave when life is done.
From the Dermot O’Brien page on the net, please click Dermot O'Brien.

"Today I can say to this Parliament at Westminster as John Kennedy said in Dublin, 'Ireland's hour has come'. It came, not as victory or defeat, but as a shared future for all. Solidarity has made us stronger. Reconciliation has brought us closer. Ireland's hour has come: a time of peace, of prosperity, of old values and new beginnings.
This is the great lesson and the great gift of Irish history. This is what Ireland can give to the world."
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in a speach to the British Joint Houses of Parliament.

"From the depths of my heart I believe Northern Ireland has come to a time of peace, a time when hate will no longer rule."
Quoted by Dr. Ian Paisley following his historic swearing in as First Minister of the new power-sharing government along side Martin McGuiness who was sworn in as Deputy First Minister.

We can have in life but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.
Oscar Wilde
Photo Credit: Pip Wilson’s Almanac

Hope, like the gleaming taper's light,
Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night
Emits a brighter ray.
From The Captivity (act II, sc. 1) by Oliver Goldsmith
Image Credit: David Williamson

When people are divided, the only solution is agreement.
John Hume Irish politician from Northern Ireland, and co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with David Trimble.
Photo Credit: Academy of Achievement

Can it be out of the kindness of my heart that I carry out such a labor of mercy on a people who once captured me when they wrecked my father's house and carried off his servants? For by descent I was a freeman, born of a decurion father; yet I have sold this nobility of mine, I am not ashamed, nor do I regret that it might have meant some advantage to others. In short, I am a slave in Christ to this faraway people for the indescribable glory of "everlasting life which is in Jesus Christ our Lord."
From a Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus translated from the Latin by John Skinner in The Confession of St. Patrick

St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.
Adrienne Cook
Photo Credit: Lissadellhouse

I have rarely been prouder or more conscious of my country and my nationality..
Former GAA president Sean Kelly speaking to the Irish Post in reference to the historic Ireland vs. England rugby match at croke Park.

After 800 years, it's now time for peace with the 'Saxon foe'
GAA commentator Micheal O Muircheartaigh in advance of the historic Six Nations Ireland vs England match at Croke Park and in reference to the playing of God Save the Queen.

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.
But I send you a cream-white- rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips.
John Boyle O'Reilly

“The Gaelic League is founded not upon hatred of England, but upon love of Ireland. Hatred is a negative passion; it is powerful - a very powerful destroyer; but it is useless for building up. Love, on the other hand, is like faith; it can move mountains, and faith, we have mountains to move.”
Douglas Hyde, born on January 17th, 1860.
He was Ireland's first president, a promoter and enthusiast of the Gaelic language, and a writer of such works as Beside the Fire (1890), Love Songs of Connacht (1894) and A Literary History of Ireland (1899).
Photo Credit: Roscommon County Library

People with a culture of poverty suffer much less from repression than we of the middle class suffer and indeed, if I may make the suggestion with due qualification, they often have a hell of a lot more fun than we have.
Brien Friel.

Our Irish blunders are never blunders of the heart.
Maria Edeworth. She was born on January 1, 1767 and is one of the few women literary figures of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Photo Credit: On-Line Literature

Christmas weather forecast
According to the old folklore, if Christmas falls on Sunday,
it means a warm winter and a hot dry summer.
On Monday: a foggy winter and a windy summer.
On Tuesday: a snowy winter and a wet summer.
On Wednesday: a hard winter and a very good summer.
On Thursday: a soft winter and a very good summer.
On Friday: a moderate winter and a moderate Autumn.
And on Saturday: a windy snowy winter and a good summer.

A double helping of quotes for Thanksgiving

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
There is no sincerer love than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw
Image Credit: Hot from the Kettle/Love it Spicy

The rick is thatched
The fields are bare,
Long nights are here again.
The year was fine
But now 'tis time
To hear the ballad-men.
Boul in, boul in and take a chair
Admission here is free,
You're welcome to the Rambling House
To meet the Seanachi.
Eamon Kelly’s prologue to his storytelling programme on Radio Eireann. To read our article, please click In My Father’s Time.
Photo credit: Smarter Travel.

"Midnight has come and the great Christ Church bell
And many a lesser bell sound through the room;
And it is All Souls’ Night.
And two long glasses brimmed with muscatel
Bubble upon the table. A ghost may come;
For it is a ghost’s right..."
William Butler Yeats, in All Souls' Night
Photo Credit: Project Muse

How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June. . . . If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that-for that-I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!
From the Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

They call them the haunted shores, these stretches of ... Ireland which rear up against the westward ocean. Mists gather here, and sea fog, and eerie stories. That’s not because there are more ghosts here than in other places, mind you. It’s just that people who live hereabouts are strangely aware of them.
Narration at the beginning of the movie, The Uninvited. Based on the novel by Dorothy Macardle.
Photo Credit: Mouser Gallery

The English language brings out the best in the Irish. They court it like a beautiful woman. They make it bray with donkey laughter. They hurl it at the sky like a paint pot full of rainbows, and then make it chant a dirge for man's fate and man's follies that is as mournful as misty spring rain crying over the fallow earth.
T. E. Kalem on Brendan Behan's 1958 play Borstal Boy.

"I just dress up what the Good Lord provides."
Legendary Irish course designer Eddie Hackett who designed the Ring of Kerry golf course pictured above
Photo Credit: Golf Travel Ireland.

Lord. take me where you want me to go;
Let me meet who you want me to meet;
Tell me what you want me to say;
Keep me out of your way.
Father Mychal Judge

So they were married-to be the more together- And found they were never again so much together, Divided by the morning tea, By the evening paper, By children and tradesmen's bills.
From Les Sylphides by Louis McNeice

It's impossible for a creative artist to be either a Puritan or a Fascist, because both are a negation of the creative urge. The only things a creative artist can be opposed to are ugliness and injustice.
Liam O'Flaherty

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
G.B. Shaw

There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met.
William Butler Yeats
Photo Credit: Irish Corner/©Eyes on Ireland

In memory of Countess Constance Georgina de Markievicz
"What has time to do with thee,
Who hast found the victors' way
To be rich in poverty,
Without sunshine to be gay,
To be free in a prison cell?
Nay, on that undreamed judgement day,
When, on the old-world's scrap-heap flung,
Powers and empires pass away,
Radiant and unconquerable
Thou shalt be young. "
by Eva Gore-Booth and written to her sister on her prison birthday, February, 1917: Having dispensed her possessions to the poor of Dublin, Countess de Markievicz died penniless in a public hospital on July 15 th 1927.

Ireland is where strange tales begin and happy endings are possible.
Charles Haughey in the Daily Telegraph, London, July 14, 1988

It is a symbol of Irish art. The cracked looking glass of a servant.
From Ulysses by James Joyce

“All her life she was to personify the best of her Irish heritage – a warm and generous heart, undauntable faith in her God, unswerving allegiance to the Democratic Party, heroic resiliency in trouble and always, always, an unquenchable sense of humor.” 
From “My Wild Irish Mother” by Mary Higgins Clark
Image: The irish Mother by Francis William Topham

James Joyce was a synthesizer, trying to bring in as much as he could. I am an analyzer, trying to leave out as much as I can.
Samuel Beckett

“Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods
And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.”
William Allingham
March 19, 1824 - November 18, 1889
Photo Credit: The Guardian - Poster Poems

Laughter is wine for the soul - laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness - the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.
Sean O'Casey
Irish dramatist
born on March 30, 1880 - died on September 18, 1964

The Irish Church of St. Patrick
I found in each great church moreo'er,
Whether on island or on shore,
Piety, learning, fond affection;
Holy welcome and kind protection.
I found the good lay monks and brothers
Ever beseeching help for others,
And in their keeping the holy word
Pure as it came from Jesus the Lord.
Written by Aldfred, king of the Northumbrian Saxons, who was educated in an Irish monastery. These lines were in reference to the Irish Church founded by St. Patrick.
Image Credit: Stecker

People with a culture of poverty suffer much less from repression than we of the middle class suffer and indeed, if I may make the suggestion with due qualification, they often have a hell of a lot more fun than we have.
From The Freedom of the City by Brian Friel

A New Year's Toast
Stir the eggnog, lift the toddy,
Happy New Year, everybody.
by Phyllis McGinley
author of the poem "
The Giveaway".

Christmas Eve
A cup of milk
And a wheaten cake,
And a spark of fire
For the Travellers' sake.
A door on the latch,
A light on the pane,
Lest the Traveller's pass
In the wind and rain.
Food for the fire
And candlelight
The Travellers' Blessing
On us this night.
By Ruth and Celia Duffin
From Escape, 1929

Photo Credit: Hole

Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.
Ronald Reagan
NOTE: In June 1984, Reagan visited Ballyporeen, Ireland, to see documents that proved his great-grandfather, Michael Regan, had been born in a small hamlet in County Tipperary.
Photo caption & credit: A church in Ballyporeen from Roots Web.

In the dim past, mince pies were not round but oblong in shape and were meant to represent the manger where Jesus was born. Everything that went into making a pie had a connection with the gifts brought by the Three Wise Men. The candied peel represented gold, the mace stood for the frankincense and the cinnamon the myrrh.
Adapted from a Celtic Christmas edited by MMairtin O'Griofa.

For our American visitors:
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
and your pies take the prize,
and may your Thanksgiving dinner
stay off your thighs!
Author unknown

Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods
And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.
William Allingham

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Fri, Feb 2, 2018

Irish God and Goddess of love

Oengus is the Irish God of love, beauty and youth. According to the old folklore, his kisses became birds. It is also said that he dreamed of a beautiful maiden, named Caer, for whom he searched all over Ireland. Eventually, he found her chained to 150 other maidens, destined to become swans at the time of Samhain. Legend has it that Oengus transformed himself into a swan and was united with his love.
Aine of Knockaine is the Irish Goddess of love. She is also known as the Fairy Queen of Munster and as a goddess of fertility beause she has control and command over crops and animals, especially cattle. Another name by which she is known is Aillen. To learn more about Irish mythology, please click Irish Myths & Legends.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Click for More Culture Corner.

I Never Knew That About Ireland
by Christopher Winn

In this wonderful compendium, Christopher Winn gives a tour of the four provinces of Ireland- Connacht, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster. Find out where dreams were inspired, ideas were born, and where the unforgettable heroes of Ireland's past now slumber. A treasure trove of fascinating stories, I Never Knew That About Ireland is packed full of information on the colorful history of the Emerald Isle. This irresistible book gives a captivating insight into the heritage, memories, and monuments that have shaped each county in Ireland, searching out their secrets and unearthing their hidden gems. Amazon Review
Click for I never Knew That..

Love the aroma of a turf fire? Experience the next best thing with Irish Incense, the peaceful, nostalgic scent that will transport you back in time and place. The perfect gift for Christmas or any other occasion, order now. A special offer for Irish Culture and Customs visitors: 10% discount on all products! Just enter the Coupon Code ICC200 in the Check out section of the web site.
Click here for Irish Incense.

The Big Little Book of Irish Wit & Wisdom

Six separate, enchanting gift books have been remade into one hefty little volume. Collection includes classic Irish triads dating from the ninth century, 28 riddles of traditional Irish life, 32 prayers and blessings for all occasions, 50 proverbs, and the best of Ireland's toasts. 250 color illustrations. Edited from an Ingram review.
Click here for Irish Wit

Quotations are listed Alphabetically from Appearances to Women Entries are grouped under subject headings, with both an author index and a first line index.
Click here for Irish Quotations


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