Ahead of the feast day of Ireland's female patron saint, Brigid, IrishCentral and Herstory share the responses to their survey "How do you feel connected to the Irish and Ireland? "

In honor of Brigid's Day, Feb 1, IrishCentral and Herstory asked the world "What it means to be an Irish woman?" and the results of our survey were beautiful and surprising. We wanted to reach out to women on the island of Ireland and the Irish diaspora at large to find out what makes the venerable Irish woman tick. We asked them about their influences, life lessons, and how they feel connected to the island of Ireland.

The IrishCentral and Herstory survey had responses from all over the United States, and from Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. 

In the run of up to St. Brigid's Day, we will share some of the Irish community's responses to our questions and this is the first...

How do you feel connected to the Irish and Ireland?

"My heart is in Ireland. I think of it every day and the welcoming people. Such a friendly country. My goal is to move there once we are permitted to travel."

"Through my father's family. It was after he died we found out that we had relatives still living in Ireland. And we have been able to meet them."

"I knew I belonged as soon as I went to Galway - found out later that's where generations of my family had a mill."

"By cooking the foods of my childhood, talking to my family and friends about our childhood and adolescence. By visiting home whenever I can."

"It's my identity. Growing up there were only two kinds of people. The Irish and the others."

"Strongly, even though I've never been there (yet). It has always felt like home to me, even as a kid. I want to go home to Ireland as soon as the pandemic is over now that my children are grown."

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"I have been to Ireland twice and pretty much feel that I am connected by the heritage, songs, especially songs."

"Through stories, by being by the sea or in the woods and being there a part of our world. Last year we planted 500 native Irish trees, creating more connection and responsibility for this land and our place within it."

"I'm a fan of the stories connected to our land. There's a fairy fort that my grandad told me that the fairies lived there and he saw them and we live by the sea and he was a fisherman and told me of the mermaids he saw etc how I connect with Irish land is from the stories my grandad told me about various places and their connection with beings from the otherworld."
"I left Ireland 30 years ago but still feel connected through social media, literature, and family."

"I've never been there but I feel such an affinity to Ireland it's eerie. It has to be in my blood, and perhaps a prior life I had."

"I loved hearing about everyone else's trips to Ireland and reading many books. I had relatives who had visited. Both grandfathers were immigrants from Ireland too. I finally went with friends in 2008 and with cousins in 2019. Then we saw the towns where they were born. The biggest connection is with my mother's mother's family near Faughart where she was born."

"My parents were Irish and Scotch. When I was in elementary school doing my first essay on a country, I chose Ireland. It has always been a part of me from the wonderful music and culture, from the time I was a child to the friendliness of the Irish people, my heritage, and the sense of humor and caring for other people.
Just applied for citizenship."