Irish Tattoo Designs: Express Your Irish Side Through Beautiful and Symbolic Body Art!

Irish tattoo designs are a very personal experience. For many people, it is the ultimate Irish expression - an unmistakable sign of your connection with Irish / Celtic culture and heritage.

Irish tattoos, and their typically Celtic designs are popular for several reasons. The most common reason is to show pride in your Celtic heritage.

Another reason is - these designs are just very cool to look at, and tells stories about.

Irish Tattoo Designs.  Photo by Tattoo Lover.

There are many places to get examples of great tattoo designs.  What we want to do here is introduce you to the basics, then point you in the right direction to find your ultimate design.

The most common Irish tattoo designs generally fall into one of four categories:  crosses, knots, shamrocks and tree of life designs.

Express Your Irish Side with this

Great Book of Tattoo Designs

Click the image to check out this special product offered through

How to Choose an Irish Tattoo Design

When my son turned 17, he informed me that on his 18th birthday he would be getting a tattoo.

I am not a tattoo guy.  So my response was - "Oh yeah?  Who's going to pay for it?"


Oh.  End of story. Mic drop.

Well, not quite.  Over the coming year, he gradually convinced me that his chosen design - a tree of life image over his heart - was actually a very personal and meaningful way for him to express his love of Ireland.

Ok, I surrender!  Here's what finally happened...

Irish Tattoo Design - Tree of Life

Pretty great, I have to admit.

The best way to choose a tattoo design is to ask yourself - what do I care about?  What do I like to talk to other people about?  What part of who I am, am I the most proud of?

Then, find a design you really like that represents those things.

There are lots of guidelines to keep in mind as far as colors, design complexity, location on the body, how to find a tattoo artist, etc.

We'll leave those things to the experts (and the book we mentioned above).

What we want to do is tell you about four cool types of Irish tattoo designs.

Irish Tattoo Design #1:  The Celtic Cross

Irish Tattoo Designs - Celtic Cross Designs

This classic symbol of Ireland is shaped like a traditional Christian crucifix, with the addition of a circle around the intersection, symbolizing eternity.

It is typically decorated with symbols or scenes of various biblical events, and it is found in a variety of Irish expressions today, including art, tattoos and jewelry.

Visit our section on the Irish Cross for much more information about this symbol that is such an important part of Irish culture and tradition.

Irish Tattoo Design #2:  The Celtic Knot

Irish Tattoo Designs - Celtic Knot Designs

Sometimes called "Irish knots" or "Mystic knots," Celtic knots are patterns of lines with no visible beginning and no apparent ending.

Aside from being lovely, they are said to have important meanings, which you can learn more about in other articles.

As with many symbols of Ireland they appear on everything from clothing to tableware to jewelry to body art.

For more information on this beautiful Irish symbol, visit our page on the Celtic Knot.

Irish Tattoo Design #3:  The Shamrock

Irish Tattoo Designs - Shamrock Designs

Finally, a few words about the world-famous Irish Shamrock.

Rumored to have the power to ward off evil spirits, scare away snakes and heal diseases, this little symbol packs a mighty punch.

So much so that at one time it was banned from public display by the Queen of England. I know, crazy right?

If that simple little description leaves you wanting more, please check out our section on the Shamrock symbol here!

Irish Tattoo Design #4:  The Tree of Life

Irish Tattoo Designs - Tree of Life Design

The Tree of Life represents a number of Irish values with Celtic roots.

Among these are strength, longevity and connection with the earth.

As with many Irish symbols the Celtic Tree of Life appears in many legends and myths.

It also adorns Irish jewerly, clothing, and other Irish works of art.

Find much more information in our section on the Tree of Life here!

So What is YOUR Favorite Irish Symbol Experience?

Do you have a story to tell? Perhaps about a Celtic tattoo or a piece of Irish jewelry? A special Shamrock experience?

Impress your friends and raise your social media game, by publishing your story on!

It's easy! Just follow the instructions below.

First, think of a great title for your submission and type it here...

Want to Know More?

To really understand Irish tattoo designs, you need to understand Irish symbols, what they are, where they come from, what they mean.  

We just talked about the four most common designs.  But really, we're just scratching the surface.  What about a Celtic Harp?  Or Triquetra?  Or a pot of gold?

Click here for a fun introduction to Irish symbols.

Meanwhile, if you enjoyed this page, please take a moment to share your feedback about it, or any other part of our site, using our comment section below.  Or send us an email using our contact form here

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Most important of all, please continue to indulge your passion for Irish culture and traditions, and to share your Irish side with your growing community of friends at Irish!



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