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One for sorrow! The Irish are a notoriously superstitious lot, especially at certain times of the year. Photo by: Getty

Top ten Irish superstitions for St. Patrick’s Day

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One for sorrow! The Irish are a notoriously superstitious lot, especially at certain times of the year. Photo by: Getty

The Irish are a notoriously superstitious lot, especially during certain times of the year. Here are the top ten best, ‘old’ superstitions.

1. If a fisherman sees a red-haired lady he should not put out to sea because ill will befall him.

2.   If you see only one magpie quickly look for the second.


“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy.”

3.   To kill a robin is very bad luck as they were considered to be Jesus’ friends while on Earth.

4.   The fairies will often take away an unattended child and leave a changeling in its place.  Yeats wrote the poem “Come Away O Human Child” along that theme.

5.   Never skip giving money to a beggar as he will inflict the beggar man’s curse upon you.

6.   On a leap year day, February 29, the woman must ask for the man’s hand or the marriage will be unhappy.

7.   The wail of the banshee will be followed by a death in the family.

8.   A fisherman must give back to the sea the first caught salmon of the year or he will only have bad luck.

9. If you trip and fall in a graveyard you will most likely die by the end of the year.

10. If you pass a funeral and don’t bless yourself, ill will befall you.

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