IrishCentral readers share their stories and thoughts on what makes them proud to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day and it's touching.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of us at IrishCentral!
At the beginning of March 2015, we asked you to share stories and thoughts about what makes you proud to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
We received hundreds of comments and were delighted to read all of your expressions of pride – in your ancestors, in your culture, and in Ireland today.
A collection of those comments follow below – from readers and from chefs, musicians and other Irish figures we’ve chatted with recently. We’re also happy to share this video from Facts, who asked people on the streets of Dublin to share what makes them proud on Paddy’s Day.
“My Irish heritage is a special gift to notice and appreciate beauty in this world - from the green land to Ireland's abundant water. I love the sharing of all feeling and imagination in our literature and music. “
– Susan Krsnich Hennessy
“I am proud to be Irish for a number of reasons. The first - Irish diaspora no matter where you go they welcome you with open arms there's such a strong sense of community and you never feel alone. Our traditions and colloquialisms are part of each of us to highlight our identity of being Irish. And of course Barry's tea!”
- Irish Chef and model Roz Purcell
"What makes me proud on St. Patrick's Day is the 'greening' of the iconic buildings around the world - Sydney Opera House in Australia, Sky Tower in Auckland, The London Eye, Table Mountain in South Africa, The Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil, Niagara Falls on both the US and Canadian sides, The Great Wall of China......
"I feel so proud that at long last the image of Irish food is changing to reflect the good food revolution that is taking place all around Ireland."
- Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School
"#SoProudToBeIrish Where to start? Proud to be from the most gorgeous country in the world with its rich ancient awe inspiring land and seascapes, populated by a fun loving gregarious people with the greatest sense of humour teamed with superb wit, creativity and intellect."
- Don O'Neill, Kerry-born fashion designer and creative director of Theia
“The Elders said it best. "Never losing faith, we have fought for every mile still no matter where you go you'll always find an Irish smile." The Irish have faced so much adversity at home and abroad but we've always taken it in stride and come out stronger as a people for the experience.”
- Grant K. Smith
“I am so proud of being Irish and what it means to be Irish. For me, being Irish means standing up for equality and civil rights and approaching life in a positive, upbeat manner no matter what obstacles are put in our way. Being Irish abroad means that I have been warmly welcomed no matter where I have performed.”
– Fiach Moriarty
“I was born in Ireland..came here with a husband from Cork and three Irish kids...this was back in the sixties. I became an Oncology nurse here on Columbia, Md. I had the best job in the world and believe me, when the patients heard my Irish accent, all barriers disappeared. So many of my patients had Irish backgrounds, much of our conversations revolved around Ireland, Irish culture, Irish music etc. etc......a nice diversion from the tough conversations one has while going through chemotherapy.”
– Mary Donegan
“I was raised to be proud of my Irish heritage, as my father and grandfather were before me. St. Patricks Day always meant family togetherness and good times to me. It was my fathers favorite holiday and it's mine as well. This will be the third holiday without my Dad and I'm trying my best to make a special day in his honor.”
– KathiAnn O’Sheil
“Being proud of how we overcame prejudice,genocide,starvation and arrived here on these shores to establish ourselves as a major influence in this country,this is for all Celtic people!”
– Jim Weaver
Being Irish to me means making hay for winter: Being far from the equator means our winters have nurtured a frugal mentality in the Irish. We tend not to enjoy the 'now'. This is why I eat a lot of cake.
- Cathy Davey
“I'm not irish, I'm brazilian. But I've lived in Dublin since December and I'm enjoying this country so much. What a people! So kind, peaceful and polite. I've seen some landscapes which I won't forget in my life. Congratulations for your country. You are awesome. I'm proud for choose this country to study and learn English. Thanks Ireland. I'm fallen in love for this country.”
– Matheus Pereiera
“To me, Being Irish means being Happy, Creative, Musical, Sociable, loving, caring and most Importantly.... being proud to be Irish.”
– Gar Cleary, Irish musician
“Why WOULDN'T you be proud to be Irish?? We have a long, dark yet colorful history, we have had to fight for everything we have, stand up and be proud of your roots! St Patricks Day was always celebrated in our family by getting together, being thankful for all of God's blessings, and a big family meal together. Of course, music and dance was a large part of it too.”
– Vicki Cook Ormsby
“[I am] very proud to be Irish. It’s a connection. I was in a taxi last night with an Italian guy who was here all his life and the minute I mentioned I was Irish we talked about everything. We talked about Italy beating Ireland when Schillaci scored the goal that bet us one nothing so there’s a lot of connection. We’re pretty proud of who we are and I think no matter what we do or where we are people sense that and they want to latch onto it, so I’m always proud.”
– JOC, Executive Chef, Guinness Storehouse
Being Irish gives me a unique perspective on the world, and adds greatly to my skills as a songwriter and performer.
- Niall Toner
“I was born on St Patrick's day. My dad was an NYPD detective and every year we'd go to the parade....MY birthday parade! He told me it was MY birthday parade. My son was born on my 21st birthday so naturally I'd bring him into OUR birthday parade. Great gift from my dad and my son was thrilled too!”
– Mary Patricia Wesson
“We are proud to be Irish. We all grew up in Dublin both on the North and South side. Dublin is a great place to grow up.”
– Buffalo Sunn
“I am proud to be Irish because of the Irish people I am blessed to know and love. I am fortunate to get to travel to Ireland frequently and be with my family there. My cousins and my uncle are generous, good, funny, mischievous and all around excellent people. The literary and philosophical contributions of our people help as well.”
– Joe Fitzgerald
Here's some more Irish people sharing why they're proud of their heritage:
*Originally published in 2015, updated March 2021
Why are YOU proud to be Irish? Let us know in the comments, below!