Friday, 29 July 2011

Irish Gaelic Tattoo Book

I'm sure some of you have been there.   

You're wondering how best to proclaim your Irishness, and finally settle on the idea of a permanent tattoo.   That way you will have an indelible mark on your epidermis proclaiming to the world that you are a son, or daughter, of dear old Erin.

What's more,  you will also have to undergo a certain amount of pain and suffering too.  A touch of martyrdom into the bargain - what more could you ask for?

What is it to be?  A nice shamrock?  Or maybe a Celtic cross?  Or one of those dogs painted on the side of the Bus Eireann coaches?  "No", you think, "not Irish enough".

At length you settle on some kind of phrase in Gaelic - preferably in some bockety old script similar to the sort Dev used for this 1937 Constitution.   Perhaps something that Cuchulainn might have roared while going into battle or while belting his bronze hurley ball about, several billennia before hurling was even invented.

There is one problem though.  You don't actually speak any Gaelic other than 'Can I go to the toilet Miss/Sir?"

Fear not.  Help is at hand, in the form of the "Top 50 Irish Gaelic Tattoo Ideas" book from the USA ($12.95).  As the blurb that comes with it says:  

Don’t spend a small fortune on a permanent Irish Gaelic tattoo until you truly understand what it is you’ll be proclaiming to the world for as long as you live.

And, more to the point, don't spend a fortune on skins grafts if you suddenly discover your Gaelic slogan says something like "God Save The Queen", "Cromwell Forever", "Padraig Pearse Was A Paedo" or "What Was All That Fuss About The Famine, Anyway?"

You have been warned!    Further info here

Big thanks to C for telling us about this one.

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Tatoony Boy said...

All too late for me I'm afraid. I should have had this book before I let that amphetamine crazed needle artist loose on me in that Bangkok Tat Parlour. Well at least I know now that while "Chucky R law" might look dandy emblazoned across my back - it's not exactly correct. Memo to self - when staying at luxury hotels around the world remember never to go swimming in the same pool as Gerry Adams.

Ella said...

I'm sooo excited, I'v just ordered my own personal copy of this book. I'm particularly interested in the Irish blessing/prayer and patriotic sections. Something tasteful you understand to go with the Erin Go Bragh tat on my arm.
@TatoonyBoy, never too late, you could get some sort of celtic designed snake (yeah I'm sure it exists) as a cover up jobbie. Very classy and enigmatic looking. Then you can get your TAL tat somewhere nice and prominant.

Tatt My Ride said...

oh Ella - it's like you're my soul shadow sister. I've had the quote for the "Padraig Pearse Crucifiction tableau with the attendant half dozen naked altar boys" which I have been assured by Sumigharamputhi (he "owns" the parlour) will cover the (for want of a better term) "fuck up" that's been inflicted on me. It seems a reasonable quote - and let's face it - first born are totally overrated anyway. As to the TAL being relocated on another part - well - all that's left on my well decorated body is (look I don't want to say as I know GM is a fave of the under 10 Oisins and we don't want them being exposed to Well "that sort of thing) but suffice it to say that I might have it done lengthways in Gilbert Ultra Bold and according to Sumigharamputhi there will be still heaps of room for a 1:8 BVM holding the globe in her outstretched hand. PS - There's an empty bottle of shiraz on the table by way of mitigation in cases of any offence being taken xx PB

The Gombeen Man said...

"...Iknow GM is a fave of the under 10 Oisins..."

Scandalous rumours, I tell you, put out by my detractors!!!

Ella said...

@ Tatt My Ride - ah yes I can imagine GN being a real hit with Oisin Beag! Loving the sound of your new tat PB. You shouldn't feel much pain there, tats only hurt when you are getting them done on bone (speaking from experience), but soft tissue, well a piece of piss really!

anna said...

...and word from our sposnor:
this is a press release put Conta out by the writer of the book:
Eoin Ó Conchúir

Limerick, Ireland, June 28, 2011-Tattoo lovers and industry experts are raving about a new book that provides in-depth insight into the world of Gaelic tattoos, of the Celtic language of Ireland.
“If you’ve been thinking about an Irish Gaelic tattoo, then this is the book for you,” said Dr. Eoin Ó Conchúir, editor of the newly released book entitled Top 50 Irish Gaelic Tattoo Ideas, and founder of “No matter what you want your tattoo to say and to express, this unique guide gives you plenty of ideas that help you capture your heritage, or perhaps just a phrase the means a lot to you.”
Irish Gaelic, also known simply as Gaelic, is the Celtic language of Ireland.
“It is still spoken in a small number of areas in Ireland, yet it is still a strong part of the Irish culture,” Ó Conchúir pointed out. “This book empowers those interested in getting a Gaelic tattoo to completely know and understand the Celtic language, Irish heritage, and everything else in between for narrowing down the tattoo they choose for themselves if they choose to get one.”
The book, Ó Conchúir added, is the culmination of nearly a decade of Gaelic translation requests submitted to an online Irish Gaelic translation community and forum.
“We’ve compiled it all into this guide and made it available for instant download,” said Audrey Nickel, author of the new book.
Whether the book is everything that its author and publisher say remains to be seen, but its releasing could prove to have perfect timing.
According to a study conducted by Life Magazine, back in 1936, 10 million Americans, or approximately six percent of the population had at least one tattoo.
The number of those with tattoos has quadrupled since that time.
“We found that 24 percent of Americans between the age of 18 and 50 are tattooed,” said Dr. William Grey of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. “That’s almost one in four. The interesting thing is that those of Irish decent with tattoos account for slightly below half of that.”
In fact, to keep up with the demand, statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor show that one new tattoo parlor is opened every day in the United States.Blake O’Sullivan, 32, an Irish-American of Houston, TX said, he’s impressed with what he has heard about the new book and is anxious to get his hands on it.
“My great grandparents moved to the United States in search of a better life,” he said. “I’m proud of my Irish heritage and I’ve been thinking about getting some sort of Celtic tattoo to display how proud I am of my heritage. I will definitely check this book out. Hopefully other Irishmen will too!”

For more information about the Top 50 Irish Gaelic Tattoo Ideas, please visit:

Anonymous said...

Anna, Blake's quote really invites a bit of editing:

"My great grandparents moved to the United States in search of a better life. They found one, and never looked back. Yet, for some strange reason, I feel a sentimental longing for a land that my forebears were only too grateful to have fled. I’m proud of my Irish heritage, despite the fact that my great grandfather laughed so violently that he died of a stroke when he was asked if he'd like to return to the "motherland".

Therefore, I think I should get a tattoo to celebrate my Irishness and all its blessings. I know that my great grandparents would be proud of me."


The Gombeen Man said...

It's a fair point Thomas. I remember many years ago living in London, having had to get out of this dump in the 80's, wandering into an Irish pub when there was some GAA match on. I couldn't get over them standing up for the Soldiers's Song and belting it out lustily as I sat there sipping my Lowenbrau. And I'm there thinking "Erm, if Ireland is so frigging great what are we Paddies doing here?".

There's a blog post there, somewhere...,

Dakota said...

GM I'm fully confident that grand OIrish book is as interesting as a wet newspaper....What type of tatoo could an Irish citizen get to show future generations the true state of affairs present in the fantabulous island now? An interpretation of the present reality? Erm what about a virtual tatoo which may or may not exist? I mean a tatoo which doesn't require any ink. In other words [to all non Irish who can still understand reality] you can point out the area on your bod where you would like it to be and by saying that you are convinced the observer can see what you see. That's what it means to be Irish after all.

anna said...

NOOOOO!! THERE ARE FINE AND NOBLE SENTIMENTS THERE- Eg from the 'patriotic' section-
Patriotic (death before dishonor, band of brothers, hold/stand your ground, no fear, victory or death, I am sure this would go down well on the tattooed elves and Leprechauns who live in Tir Na Nog ( especially those of biker persuasion) but not only I have I Never seen those on the arms on any in this country in English, never mind Irish- I rarely saw the noble sentiments acted out:
5 months ago, I had to get moved from 1 end of my very large office to the other- a sarcastic undermining trouble maker had come into my sub section. Ok I had wanted a move- but her bitchiness was the last staw.Donna kept this up even after my move when I visited my old buddies. I told her I would report her to the boss- unless I got an apology.Wrong idea to give her any chance to redeem herself ( I now realise there are many in this country who have evidently never apologised in their lives ('Apology- Wha's Dat??'.)
Next day I was hauled into the boss to hear I had threatened poor Donna, that I had been aggressive and she was Very frightened etc etc...the woman is 35! The boss believed me- but D told my former work unit a load of lies about me- and 1 former buddy,Charlie had a go at me about it- telling me not to come back near that sub section again!.I am now making a formal written complaint to HQ, as I won't let this go, I am determined to save Ireland one savage at a time. But WWUGI?? I worked in NI, England, Guernsey and Jersey...and I Never saw workers going about telling malicious lies about each other- they'd be booted out the door. Or even if One did start - other workers would tell them to shut up, rather than joining in. 'Live free or die?' Death before dishonour?'
WHAT is Irish for 'Bullies and Cowards- part of what we are.' or 'Keep your head down- it could be you next'
What about those cute cartoon Irish sheep I see on everything in souvenir shops- how about Dolly the sheep as a tasteful tattoo motif ( I think lions/ dragons/ eagles are Totally out of sync with the Irish character)
Under your porter swigging sheep emblazon the words;' Witless, Woolly minded and sheep like- waht's so baaad about that?'
Or just- Me Fein- Stuff you.

Anonymous said...

"God Save The Queen"

Go Soirbhí Dia dár mBanríon

"Cromwell Forever"

Cromail Abú

"Padraig Pearse Was A Paedo"

Bhí Pádraig Mac Piarais ag Éigniú Páistí

"What Was All That Fuss About The Famine, Anyway?"

Nach Cuma faoin nGorta Mór Pé Scéal É?