Luck of the Irish

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

With the approach of St. Patrick’s Day, it feels like the perfect time to discuss the “luck of the Irish” by way of sharing their traditions.

Curious, I looked up information about the origins of the phrase, “luck of the Irish”. Why, I wondered, are the Irish considered lucky?

I discovered the phrase does not come from Ireland but from America. During the gold and silver rush years in the latter half of the 19th century, many of the most well known successful miners claimed Irish descent. Over time, this association led to the  “luck of the Irish” expression.

Luck of the Irish title meme

Saint Patrick

Before sharing some of Ireland’s good luck traditions, you might wonder about Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick’s Day is an annual celebration held on March 17, the traditional death date of the patron saint of Ireland. The day evolved into honoring Irish culture with parades, music, dances, drinking and the wearing of the green.

The first surprising fact is this one…Patrick wasn’t Irish. He was born in Britain in 385. During his teen years, a group of Irish raiders kidnapped the youth and imprisoned him in Ireland. Patrick spent six years in captivity. During these lonely years Patrick turned to God for comfort and guidance. When he escaped captivity, Patrick walked 200 miles to the coast and returned via boat to Britain. In a dream, Patrick heard a voice, God’s voice he believed, telling him to return to Ireland as a missionary.

After 15 years of study, Patrick became an ordained priest and returned to Ireland. He ministered to Christians already living there and introduced Christianity to others. Ultimately, he became known as Ireland’s patron saint.

Luck of the Irish leprechaun
Luck of the Irish – my sister posing with a leprechaun in Dublin

Good Luck Traditions from Ireland

The Irish, like many other people, observe superstitions and luck traditions, some of them quite ancient. And they aren’t all good luck traditions. The Irish are careful to avoid bad luck as well.

Have you heard of these luck traditions?

Fairy Trees

When a Hawthorn tree grows alone in a field it’s called a fairy tree. The Irish consider it a portal between our world and the fairy world. They don’t cut these special trees down or harm them in any way, for continued good luck. It’s bad luck to cut a fairy tree down.

Luck of the Irish fairy tree
Luck of the Irish – a fairy tree

Dropping Cutlery on the Floor

Dropping a knife, fork or spoon on the floor foretells who will visit in the near future, depending on which utensil falls.

Drop a knife and expect a male visitor. When a fork hits the fork, look for a woman to stop by. And when a spoon falls to the floor, a child is sure to visit.

Luck of the Irish cutlery
Luck of the Irish – when cutlery falls

Itchy Nose

I grew up hearing that if my nose itched it meant company was coming. Although I have Irish ancestry, we didn’t get the expression quite right. In Ireland, an itchy nose means get ready for a fight!

To avoid a punch in the nose, slap the person next to you, lightly on the wrist. Some believe a light punch on the arm of the person nearest you forestalls a fight as well.

Itchy nose means a fight is coming
Luck of the Irish – itchy nose means a fight is coming

Itchy Palms and Money

Ireland has a second superstition involving itching. When the palms itch, money is coming…or going…depending on which palm is affected.

When the left palm itches, expect to receive money. And if the right palm is the itchy one, money flows from you to another.

Itchy palms and money
Luck of the Irish – itchy palms and money

Cheer When a Bird Poops on You

Similar to the Italian tradition, it’s good luck in Ireland when a bird poops on you. Consider yourself singled out and blessed with favor. I experienced such a blessing in Italy! Sadly, no bird pooped on me while in Ireland.

Luck of the Irish bird poop
Luck of the Irish – bird poop

The More Magpies the Better

Another bird plays a role in luck, in Ireland. They even have a rhyme for the number of magpies, or crows, that you see.

“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.”

The Irish take the spotting of magpies very seriously.  Waving at or saluting a solitary magpie breaks the curse of sorrow. Otherwise, the more magpies you see, the luckier you are.

Luck of the Irish magpies
Luck of the Irish – spotting magpies or crows

Good Luck Coins

The Irish believe good luck arrives with the finding of a half penny. Although ha’ pennies went out of circulation in 1987, the good people of Ireland still consider it lucky to find a coin…any coin. Just don’t walk away and leave the coin behind. That’s an invitation for bad luck to follow you.

Find a coin it's good luck
Luck of the Irish – find a coin

Your Shirt’s on Wrong

An old Irish superstition involves a shirt. If you happen to put one on inside out…while dressing in the dark or dressing in a hurry…leave it that way. It’s good luck to wear your shirt with the wrong side out throughout the day. Don’t change it though to right side out. That’s unlucky as the bad luck overshadows the good.

Wear your shirt inside out
Luck of the Irish – wear your shirt inside out

Shoes Go On the Floor

Another old Irish superstition forbids the placing of new shoes on a table. You don’t even want to try it, to find out what happens. Just…don’t. Keep your shoes on the floor.

Keep your shoes on the floor.
Luck of the Irish – no shoes on the table

Irish Wedding Charm

When planning an Irish wedding, every household uses a Child of Prague statue. This statue of a young Jesus, dressed in flamboyant clothes, signals the desire for good weather.

The day before a wedding or other important event, the Child of Prague statue goes into the yard. Some place it under a bush while others bury it in the yard or even decapitate the statue. It signifies a divine request for good weather during the event.

Of course Amazon sells these statues. Click photo for more info.

Don’t Pick Up that Comb on the Ground

Beware picking up combs found on the ground. If it’s a coin, grab it. If it’s a comb, leave it alone.

A banshee is a mythical creature in Ireland. She’s a supernatural spirt that wails, screams and shrieks. A comb lying on the ground might belong to a banshee and you DO NOT want her to come looking for what belongs to her.

Don't pick up that comb
Luck of the Irish – don’t pick up that comb on the ground

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

I hope you enjoyed learning about some of Ireland’s luck superstitions. As you wear the green or chug a beer, keep these ancient traditions in mind. And if you are blessed someday with the good fortune of a trip to Ireland, enjoy that beautiful, green, richly cultured country. The Irish are some of the friendliest, most fun people I’ve met.

Do you have Irish ancestry? And are you familiar with these traditions?

Dublin Ireland
Girls UK trip. Our stop in Dublin.

Fun St Patrick’s Day finds from Amazon:



Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.




Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Dublin, Ireland is a beautiful, high energy city. Many areas of interest vie for the  attention of the adventure seeker, from Dublin Castle to St. Stephen’s Green to the Temple Bar Area’s pubs and shops. And by all means, explore those well known spots.

Then, check out several off the beaten path locations in and near the city. Less crowded and lesser known, these spots offer fun, beauty and history as well.

These are non touristy places to visit in Dublin.

Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin title meme

Off the Beaten Path

One of my favorite ways to really get to know a city is to wander streets, explore plazas and follow curiosity wherever it leads. Getting a bit…or a lot…lost can lead to unexpected surprises and delights.

To help you out in Dublin, wander to these places that the locals know about, but many tourists do not. And then see where curiosity leads after that.

Temple Bar Food Market

Located in the heart of Dublin, the Temple Bar Area is famous for its pubs and shops. The streets are crowded with locals and visitors, especially in the evenings. One must visit some of the pubs in Temple Bar. It’s a great way to connect with Dubliners and listen to fine music.

However, lesser known is the Temple Bar Food Market. Held every Saturday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, the market is a foodie paradise. It’s located in Meeting House Square, on Dublin’s South Side. The market offers fresh produce, meats, baked goods, artisanal cheeses, street food and hot bites. During the summer months there’s a night market as well, an alternative to the sometimes rowdy pubs. The night market offers stalls of arts and crafts created by local artisans.

Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin food market
Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin – Temple Bar Food Market

Iveagh Gardens

St. Stephen’s Green is the most well known, and popular, green space in Dublin. Reminiscent of Central Park in NYC, it’s worth a visit for its beauty and historical significance.

Not far away lies Iveagh Gardens, tucked away between Clonmel and Upper Hatch Streets near the National Concert Hall. Once a private park, this 300 year old secluded green space doesn’t draw the tourists. It’s a quiet, beautiful space to wander or hang out for an hour with its fountains, yew maze and rose garden. During the summer, the park hosts festivals and music performances, increasing the number of visitors. Otherwise, it feels like a secret garden.

Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin Iveagh Garden
Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin – Iveagh Gardens

Forty Foot

Does swimming in the cold, wild Irish Sea sound exciting? Located just outside of Dublin, and easily accessible by the city’s electronic transit system, Forty Foot is a promontory on the southern tip of Dublin Bay. People have been swimming here, year around, for more than 250 years.

Up until the 1970s, Forty Foot was an exclusive gentlemen’s swimming club. During the women’s liberation movement, a group of female equal rights activists jumped into the sea, opening the area for women and children. All are welcome now. No matter the weather or season, locals believe that swimming in the frigid waters boosts health.

Many who literally take the plunge claim that swimming with locals at Forty Foot remains the most authentic experience they’ve ever had.

Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin Forty Foot
Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin – Forty Foot

Marsh’s Library

After checking out the Trinity College Library and its treasure, The Book of Kells, head to the quaint, quiet Marsh’s Library. Located in St. Patrick’s Close, next to the cathedral, this library claims the distinction of “first public library” in Ireland. The doors opened in 1707.

This well preserved library, of the late Renaissance – early Enlightenment period, boasts a collection of more than 25,000 books, some extremely rare, and 300 manuscripts. Marsh’s Library is one of the last 18th century buildings in Ireland still used for its original purpose. The library even uses social media. Visit their Instagram page, for daily photos and videos.

Of historical interest, some of the bookcases in the library contain bullet holes from the Easter Rising in 1916. And there are unique wire alcoves, or cages, built in response to book thefts in the late 18th century. Readers were locked into the cages to peruse the rare books.

Linger in this beautiful library. And know that you aren’t the only one lingering there. The ghost of the founder, Archbishop Narcissus Marsh, reportedly haunts the building, rummaging through the shelves of books at night.

Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin Marsh's Library
Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin – Marsh’s Library

National Botanic Gardens

Located a little outside Dublin’s city center, the botanic gardens offer visitors a relaxing off the beaten path experience.

Enjoy the expansive lawns and the pond, explore the restored glasshouses, or stroll through the rose gardens, herbaceous borders and alpine yard. This botanical garden is home to hundreds of endangered plants from around the world. It even houses six plants that are now extinct in the wild, making them a rare sight indeed.

If you love the serenity of nature or need time to destress or unwind, check out this natural oasis and soak up the beauty and perhaps some sun.

Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin Botanic Garden
Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin – National Botanic Garden

Great South Wall

I saved one of the best non touristy places until last, the Great South Wall. Accessible from Pigeon House Road, the broad, walkable wall extends 4 kilometers into Dublin Bay. One can “walk on water”, experiencing the winds and waves on the march to the lighthouse at the end of the walkway.

Built more than 200 years ago, at the time of its completion the Great South Wall was the world’s longest sea wall. Today it remains one of the longest in Europe.

At the seaward end of the wall stands the red Poolbeg Lighthouse, built in 1820. It replaced an older lighthouse from the late 1700s.

Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin Great South Wall
Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin – Great South Wall and Poolbeg Lighthouse

Dream of Travel

I am keenly aware that due to the continuing pandemic, international travel is severely restricted. However, as we all do our part to get through this time, we can dream of travel. We can plan and research. And, gratefully, we can revisit memories from past trips and experience them again.

I hope you’ll add Dublin to your travel list. It’s a magnificent city, rich in culture, art, literature and music. And it’s one of the most joyful cities that I’ve ever visited. I can’t wait to travel to Dublin again, and explore more of Ireland.

Have you visited any of these non touristy Dublin locations?

Non Touristy Places to Visit in Dublin red door
I love the colorful front doors in Dublin, like this red one.

Check out these finds from Amazon:



Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Part two in my movies that inspire travel series, this post features films with storylines set in Ireland. (Check out the Italy movies here.)  My connection to Ireland runs deep, with ancestors on my mother’s side originating there. Her mother’s maiden name was McCool and all eight children in the family sported red hair, possessed fiery spirits and displayed playful natures.

Before I ever set foot on the Emerald Isle, I enjoyed movies and characters based there. I smiled over the charming accents, that in reality proved even more delightful in person. And my heart beat faster as I took in the beauty of those green hills and quaint Irish villages that served as backdrops for the films.

Check out these movies that inspire you to visit Ireland and discover the magic.

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland title meme

The Quiet Man  1952

This classic romantic comedy stars John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and Barry Fitzgerald.

A retired American boxer returns home to Ireland, anxious to reclaim his homestead and forget his past. He falls in love with a spirited but poor redhead, the younger sister of an ill tempered man determined to keep the two apart. The budding relationship is fraught with complications, one of which arises from the boxer’s shadowy past.

Fun fact: After the credits roll, there’s a scene with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara waving goodbye. O’Hara whispers something in Wayne’s ear that evokes a priceless reaction. Only the two actors and the director know what was said, and none ever revealed the line, even in memoirs. We do know O’Hara at first refused to whisper the words, saying she “couldn’t possibly say that to Duke”. The director insisted, saying he needed a genuinely shocked expression from Wayne. He got it.

Watch The Quiet Man free on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland the quiet man
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – The Quiet Man

My Left Foot  1989

Based on the true story of Christy Brown, My Left Foot stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker and Kirsten Sheridan.

Born with cerebral palsy, into a large impoverished Dublin family, Christy overcomes a difficult childhood to become a painter and writer. The only limb he has any control over is his left foot. Unable to speak as a child, Christy surprises everyone with his intelligence and sensitivity, expressing himself through his art.

Fun fact: Daniel Day-Lewis insisted on remaining in character between takes, and therefore refused to leave his wheelchair. He ultimately broke two ribs from sitting in a hunched over position in the chair during weeks of filming.

Watch My Left Foot on HBO or rent on Amazon

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland My Left Foot
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – My Left Foot

Far and Away  1992

This sweeping adventure drama stars Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Thomas Gibson.

A young couple struggle in Ireland, with family, traditional views and property eviction. They flee to the United States with the dream of owning property in Oklahoma during the big land rush.

However, life in the new country is difficult too. The man becomes a bare hands boxer and his bride’s parents follow them to the US with the intention of taking their daughter home. How long can they keep their dream alive?

Watch Far and Away on HBO or rent on Amazon

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland Far and Away
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – Far and Away

Michael Collins  1996

This historical biopic stars Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Stephen Rea and Ian Hart.

Set in 1916, this historical film explores the Irish revolution against the UK, led by Michael Collins. He develops dramatic new tactics for gaining independence including urban guerilla warfare and assassinations of Irish informants in the UK government. Although the British are willing to negotiate by 1921, Collins returns to Ireland with compromises that threaten to spark civil war in his beloved country.

Fun fact: Due to its historical nature, Michael Collins became the second most successful movie ever released in Ireland.

Rent Michael Collins on Amazon Prime


Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland Michael Collins
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – Michael Collins

Waking Ned Devine  1998

Ian Bannen, David Kelly, Fionnula Flanagan and James Nesbitt star in this fun comedy.

When Ned Devine wins the national lottery, he literally dies from shock. News of the win, but not of Ned’s demise, spreads through the pretty Irish village of Tully More. As lottery officials arrive to confirm the winning ticket, Ned’s friends scheme to keep the prize money. They quickly discover, in hilarious ways, the difficulties of keeping a secret in a small town.

Fun fact: This sleeper film, shot on a low budget of $3 million, filmed in five weeks and ultimately grossed more than $50 million.

Rent Waking Ned Devine on Amazon Prime


Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland Waking Ned Devine
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – Waking Ned Devine

Angela’s Ashes  1999

This dramatic biopic stars Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen, Ciaran Owens and Michael Legge.

Angela’s Ashes follows the true story of young Frankie and his family as they struggle to escape the poverty in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The movie includes moving themes of love, suffering, deprivation, family dysfunction, striving and eventually, triumph.

Fun fact: The interior church scenes were shot in Dublin. Because of its controversial content, permission was denied to shoot in any Limerick churches.

Watch Angela’s Ashes free on Amazon Prime

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland Angela's Ashes
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – Angela’s Ashes

Once  2007

This musical stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

A young Dublin man is a singer/song writer who earns a living working in his dad’s Hoover repair shop by day and singing on the streets by night. He meets a Czech girl in the city who plays the piano every chance she gets and does odd jobs by day and cares for her mother and daughter by night.

During an eventful week in Dublin, the pair write, rehearse and record songs  together. They hope to create a demo that will land a music contract. What they discover is that their songs document their budding love story.

Fun fact: Bob Dylan was such a fan of the film that he arranged to have the two leads, Glen and Marketa, open for him on part of his world tour.

Watch Once on HBO or rent on Amazon

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland Once
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – Once

Ondine  2009

Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Dervla Kirwan and Alison Barry star in this romantic mystery.

On the coast of Cork a divorced fisherman discovers a woman named Ondine caught in his fishing nets. His precocious daughter, whose health is failing, believes the woman is a magical selkie. This tender film explores mystery and that powerful human emotion, hope.

Fun fact: The moving song that plays during the closing credits, titled Braille, was only available to subscribers of the artist’s newsletter. It never officially released.

Rent Ondine on Amazon

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland Ondine
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – Ondine

Leap Year  2010

Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott and John Lithgow star in this romantic comedy.

Anna travels to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend on February 29. According to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on leap year day must accept.

Anna’s careful plans face major setbacks however when bad weather derails her journey to Dublin. With the help of a handsome small town innkeeper named Declan, Anna’s cross country trek just might result in an engagement…but to whom?

Fun fact: The bridge that Anna and Declan stand on while having a conversation about his ex-fiancé is located in St Stephen’s Green, a park in Dublin. (I’ve stood on that bridge!)

Rent Leap Year on Amazon Prime 

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland Leap Year
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – Leap Year

Brooklyn  2015

This romantic drama stars Saoirse Ronan, Emery Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson and Jim Broadbent.

Set in the early 1950s, the film follows a young woman who leaves her job in a grocery shop in Ireland to immigrate to Brooklyn. Her mother and sister remain in Ireland. All appears to go well in Brooklyn as she finds a job, studies at night to learn bookkeeping and meets a charming young Italian man.

However, she lives torn between two countries, with responsibilities and desires, anguish and emotions, connected to each. Which life will she choose?

Fun fact: The scenes for Brooklyn, New York were filmed in Montreal, Quebec, as the budget couldn’t cope with turning 2015 Brooklyn back into 1950s Brooklyn.

Rent Brooklyn on Amazon Prime


Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland Brooklyn
Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland – Brooklyn

Movies That Inspire You to Visit Ireland

How many of these films have you seen?

I’ve watched them all. And the longing that makes my heart beat just a little faster, as I view these movies, becomes the passion that fuels my trip to Ireland…and beyond.

And since spending time in Dublin, I’m especially drawn to re-watch Once and Leap Year. Additionally, because of actor Alan Rickman’s untimely death, I’d love to see Michael Collins again too.

What movies are inspiring you to travel?

Blessing in a Dublin pub
Blessing in a Dublin pub

Don’t have an Amazon Prime Membership yet? Get one HERE for a free trial period.



Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

While visiting Dublin, Ireland in 2017 I enjoyed the people I encountered. From the tour bus drivers to waiters in cafés to people we chatted with in pubs, all were friendly and playful. And what is it, to Americans, that so delights us? Those charming accents and words and phrases common to their language but unique to us.

My mother, sisters and niece accompanied me on this trip, a magnificent girls’ trip across the UK. We agreed that the Irish hold a special place in our hearts. My mother’s family comes from Ireland, so perhaps it’s a familial connection. Or perhaps it’s that they don’t know a stranger. We felt very welcomed and embraced in Dublin.

Check out these fun Irish phrases and what they mean and then try them out on your next trip to the Emerald Isle.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean title meme

Irish Words We’ve Adopted

Some Irish words are common to the English language. We’ve adopted them. Slew, meaning a large number, comes from the Irish word slaugh, which means a host. Trousers comes from the Irish trius. Galore is adapted from go leor, meaning plenty or enough.

The Irish gave us bog, which they pronounce bug. And we get whiskey from the Irish phrase uisce beatha, which means “water of life”.  Buddy came from the Irish bhodaigh, meaning pal. And slogan originated from a word used by Irish clans in the 1670s, sluagh-ghairm, which is a battle shout.

The fun word smithereens is a gift from the Irish, from their word smidrin with the “een” diminutive added. It means a small fragment.

And do you know how we got the word boycott? It comes from Ireland’s history.

In 1880, an uncaring County Mayo land agent named Captain Boycott refused requests to reduce rents after a bad harvest. His aggrieved tenants responded by refusing to bring in the harvests. From that time on, boycott refers to shunning people, organizations or countries that do not respect human rights.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean temple bar area
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – people enjoying the Temple Bar area

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean

Pubs truly are the heart and soul of Ireland’s cities, towns and villages. Visit them and enjoy listening to lively stories and discussions. The Irish sprinkle their conversations with sayings that are common to them and play with the English language. Now you’ll know what they mean.

Acting the Maggot

This phrase means you are probably up to no good or getting into mischief.

Oul Fella or Oul Wan

If you hear someone talking about her oul fella or her oul wan, she is referring to her father or her mother, respectively. I think I might start calling my mom oul wan!


When someone is fluthered, he is very, very drunk!

Happy Out

When you are content in your current surroundings, you are happy out.

Fun Phrases and What They Mean shopping
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – Happy out shoppers in Dublin.

Donkey Years

When the phrase donkey years pops up, it refers to a lot of years.

Any Use?

This questions is the equivalent of asking, “Was it good?”

The Jacks

This phrase refers to the bathroom. “Where are the jacks?” “Aye, down the stairs.” In Irish pubs and restaurants, it seems all the jacks are up a flight of stairs or down one.


One of my favorites, if something isn’t done the right way, it is arseways. In case you don’t know, arse means ass.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – on our way to the jacks, while visiting a pub

Go Way Outta That

This fun phrase is an expression of disbelief. It can also be used as a refusal to a request.

Sure Look It

This phrase is very common and often attached to the end of a sentence.  It means carry on or let’s get on with it. A similar phrase, sure listen, means the same. It does NOT mean “listen to me”.


Used more in rural Ireland, ara comes before your name if someone doesn’t believe you or feels surprised or disappointed by you.

The Craic was 90

Heard frequently in pubs, this phrase means the atmosphere and fun were excellent.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean temple bar
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – the craic was 90 in all the pubs we visited!

I Will Yeah

This one makes me laugh. It’s said when a person has no intention of doing what she’s just been asked to do.

A Bag of Tayto

This is a bag of crisps…or what we call chips.

Will You Have a Mineral?

You might get asked this in a pub or café. It means, “Will you have a soft drink?” “And a bag of tayto?” Now you know how to answer!

Great Drying Out

When the weather clears up this phrase means it’s a great day to dry clothes on the line.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean River Liffey
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – all of our days in Dublin were great drying out days, weather wise.

Feck Off or What the Feck

You might easily guess the equivalent of these phrases. Replace the “e” with a “u” in  feck and you’ve got it. We heard feckin’ frequently too, placed before any word!

I’m Going on the Gargle

When you do this, you are headed out for drinks and might not be back…for days.


A dooter is a short, or wee, walk.

Aye and Naw

Aye is yes and naw is no for the Irish. Confusingly, the word yes means hello!


Used affectionately, an eejit describes someone who isn’t very bright.

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean swans
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – we enjoyed a dooter through Stephens Green.

Which Phrase is Your Favorite?

Did you learn new phrases to try out? Which one is your favorite?

I hope, when travel restrictions ease, that you add Ireland to your “must visit list”. While there, listen and join in conversations and get to know the lovely and fun Irish people. Visit pubs and cafés and walk the streets and parks. Ride the hop on/hop off buses and delight in the guides, who speak with such love and passion for their cities.

And if you are going on the gargle, let me know!

Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean lunch
Fun Irish Phrases and What They Mean – our first meal in Dublin.

Another Fun Post

If you enjoyed this post, check out Fun British Phrases and What They Mean.



Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.





Ghost Stories from Dublin

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Beautiful Dublin is an enchanting and magical city.  The capital of Ireland, Dublin contains many historic buildings, including a 13th century castle and the stately St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191.

So it’s no surprise that the ancient city offers up more than a few ghost stories and haunted places. Some of those quaint stone buildings on cobblestone streets have darker stories to tell.

During the month of October, when spookiness abounds, I’m excited to present a series of Friday travel posts featuring ghost stories from five different countries. Read along each week, if you dare!

Ghost Stories from Dublin title meme

Bram Stoker

Besides being a city of haunts and ghosts, Dublin gave the world a master of horror, Bram Stoker. Best known for his 1897 gothic novel, Dracula, Stoker drew inspiration from a cemetery near his childhood home. A sickly child, Stoker spent hours on his own, wandering in Ballybough Cemetery. In this graveyard reserved for criminals and suicides, people drove wooden stakes through the victims’ hearts, to make sure they were dead and stayed that way. That grim custom became the origin for killing vampires in Stoker’s famous story.

Bram Stoker’s family owned a crypt in St. Michan’s Church and as a boy, Stoker often visited the below ground vault. Today it houses a collection of mummified bodies that fell out of their coffins as the wood disintegrated. As you might imagine, this vault beneath the church is labeled as haunted.

The next time you visit Dublin, check out these famous, spooky places.

Dublin Castle

This 13th century castle served for centuries as the headquarters for the British administration in Dublin. The castle was the center for invasions, battles, military strategies and countless persecutions. As a result, many people met untimely and often horrific deaths there.

During its early years, under King John of England, the heads of would be invaders were spiked upon the outer wall as a deterrent to enemies. The headless bodies rotted on the ground below. People claim to hear the moans and cries of the victims.

And in the dark dungeons many suffered torture and death for their crimes or their faith. Stories tell of convicted thief Roger de Fynglas and a poor widow who refused to renounce her faith, both left to starve within cells in the dungeon. De Fynglas’ spirit supposedly remains in his cell to this day. And the widow, whose own son imprisoned her, weeps in the dungeon, brokenhearted.

Ghost Stories from Dublin castle
Ghost Stories from Dublin – Dublin Castle

The Green Lady

Considered Dublin’s most famous ghost, the Green Lady haunts the grounds near St. Audoen’s Church, built in 1190. Many people claim to have seen the specter. She is believed to be Dorcas Kelly, executed as a witch for the murder of her unborn child.

The Sheriff of Dublin, Simon Luttrell, put her to death. He was a member of a secret occult group called the Hellfire Club, and supposedly fathered Kelly’s child. Allegedly, Kelly threatened to out Luttrell as a member of the club. The accused woman publicly burned to death at St. Stephen’s Green in 1746.

The Green Lady haunts the area near the bottom of the 40 steps leading to the church. She appears dressed all in green.

Ghost Stories from Dublin St Audoens tower
Ghost Stories from Dublin – The Green Lady haunts St Audoen’s grounds. This is St Audeon’s tower.

Ghost Girl in the Shelbourne Hotel

On St. Stephen’s Green, the famous Shelbourne Hotel welcomes guests from around the world. However, one uninvited guest refuses to leave. Built in 1824, the elegant hotel replaced townhouses built along the edge of the Green.

A seven year old girl, Mary Masters, apparently died of cholera. She lived in one of those townhouses. Staff report seeing Mary in the basement while they do laundry or stock the wine cellar. Hotel guests share chilling tales of encountering the ghost girl in their rooms.

One recent guest, an actress working in Dublin on a film, reported a presence in her room, when she awoke in the dark. She heard a giggle and then felt an unexplained breeze across her body, followed by slamming doors. Not finding anyone in her room, she shared her story with staff the next morning and learned about Mary.

Other guests tell of a presence sitting on the bed, the sounds of a small girl crying and invisible touches on the cheek or arms.

Ghost Stories from Dublin St Stephens Green
St Stephen’s Green is surrounded by haunted buildings, including the Shelbourne Hotel.

Rubrics Building, Trinity College

Trinity College houses some of Ireland’s precious historical artifacts. It’s also the site for a haunting.

Former college lecturer Edward Ford lived in the Rubrics Building on campus, in 1734. Considered an ill tempered man, he did not appreciate it when a group of rowdy students threw stones at his window. He sought to scatter the students by firing a pistol at them.

The students did disperse, however they sought revenge. The drunken young men returned to their rooms, picked up firearms of their own, and decided to teach Edward Ford a lesson. Although it’s thought they didn’t intend to kill Ford, they fired through his window, mortally wounding him.

Students and staff report seeing a sad man in a powdered wig and Georgian attire wandering around the Rubrics Building.

Ghost Stories from Dublin Trinity College
Ghost Stories from Dublin – Trinity College

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Jonathan Swift, known for his book “Gulliver’s Travels”, was appointed Dean of St. Patrick’s in 1713. He died October 19, 1743 and he’s buried beneath the floor. The cathedral displays Swift’s chair, table and bookcases and two of his death masks.

Swift supposedly haunts two areas, the cathedral itself and the deanery beside the church, where he lived until his death.

The story goes that any worshipper who dares to fall asleep during a sermon might wake up to find an angry Swift looming over him.

And tenants living in the deanery after Swift’s death, up to the present day, tell of sensing a benevolent presence in the house. Some have reported seeing the ghost of an older man slowly climb the stairs to the dean’s bedroom above. At least one later occupant of the house, feeling sure an intruder broke in when he saw the older man, searched the house thoroughly and found no one there.

Ghost Stories from Dublin St Patricks Cathedral
Ghost Stories from Dublin – St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

There are many other haunts in Dublin and a wealth of ghost stories. These five are among the most famous. Currently, with COVID travel restrictions, most of the city’s ghost tours are temporarily closed. However, someday, perhaps by next October, visitors will once again walk the narrow streets of Dublin, seeking the paranormal…and finding it.

If you want to experience Dublin’s darker side, in a fun way, try the Gravedigger Ghost Tour.

Do you believe in ghosts? I do. I’ve experienced the supernatural since birth. I’d love to read your spooky stories in the comments below. And watch this space next week, where I’ll offer ghost stories from Italy.

Ghost Stories from Dublin St Patricks clock tower
Ghost Stories from Dublin – St. Patrick’s clock tower.

More Tales from Ireland:

St. Stephen’s Green Dublin

Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar Area

Amazon Prime Day is October 13 & 14. Sign up for Prime NOW, for big savings. Start your FREE 30 day trial by clicking HERE.

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.


Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar Area

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, joyfully welcomes her visitors. This fun sprawling city, home to 1.36 million people, launched our girls’ UK trip in 2017. We were all first time visitors to Dublin and what an impression this high energy city made on us. We left after our brief stay, determined to return someday and explore more.

The social hub of Dublin is found in its pubs…666 of them as a matter of fact. Dubliners enjoy gathering together for a few pints of Guinness, lively music and shared stories and laughter.

Although pubs are scattered throughout the city, the best collection of pubs is located in the Temple Bar Area.

Come explore Dublin’s Temple Bar Area and see why it’s such a popular destination spot.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area title meme

Temple Bar History

Located in the heart of Dublin, the Temple Bar Area is described as the city’s “bohemian quarter”. The district offers a vast variety of art, unique shops, entertainment, cafes and restaurants, hostels and hotels and pubs. Live Irish folk music drifts out from cute establishments lined along narrow cobblestone streets. Visitors and locals alike enjoy the area for the “ceol agus craic”…Irish for music and fun.

However, the Temple Bar Area only gained popularity within the last 30 years. With the Liffey River bordering the south side, the area originally contained marshlands. In the 17th century, with the river walled in, the marshes were developed into a neighborhood for the wealthy. Some say the name Temple Bar came from a family name. It’s more likely it was named after the Temple District in London, in a desire to imitate that prestigious neighborhood.

The area declined over the years and by the 18th century, brothels and seedy businesses claimed the area. By the 1990s the district appeared run down and neglected. While a proposed central bus station for the area was under review, buildings leased for low rents. That attracted artists and creative people to the neighborhood. Fortunately, the renewed interest in Temple Bar prompted the city council to cancel the bus station project. Instead, the area experienced a revival that ultimately birthed Dublin’s premier spot.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area square
Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar area – busy street on the square

Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar Area

Temple Bar offers artsy destinations such as the Irish Film Institute, the Projects Art Centre and the National Photographic Archive. Souvenir shops share the streets with tattoo parlors, hostels and cafes. However, most people visit the area for its pubs.

During the day, visitors hit businesses and grab a bite to eat at one of the excellent cafes. However, the Temple Bar area is the center of Dublin’s nightlife. By evening, crowds appear, filling the pubs for meals, music and drinks.

If you don’t like throngs of people, visit the Temple Bar area during the day. Explore the shops, people watch and enjoy lunch at one of the many pubs or cafes in the area. Live music generally begins mid to late afternoon. The area retains its friendly and fun atmosphere by day, without the boisterous overcrowding present at night.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area leprechaun
Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar area – and find a leprechaun! My sister Linda and her leprechaun in front of The Quay’s Bar.

Best Pubs in Dublin’s Temple Bar Area

These fun pubs are considered the best of the best in Temple Bar. Enjoy a meal, grab a pint and listen to music.

The Temple Bar Pub

This pub dates back to 1840, making it one of the oldest in the neighborhood. Cool and quirky, the pub attracts artists, poets and tourists. It offers one of the largest whiskey collections in Ireland…some say the world…along with fresh oyster platters and live music daily.

The Auld Dubliner

Considered the “quiet” pub in Temple Bar, The Auld Dubliner is an oasis of calm in the bustle of Temple Bar, at least during the day. Enjoy a mix of hot and cold traditional Irish fare as well as more contemporary choices. Upstairs the pub hosts local and international live music every day.

The Porterhouse

Although this pub is a chain, they serve their own house beers. In fact, The Porterhouse was Dublin’s first brewery. They offer guests a classic Irish menu…plus American, British and European food…live music every day and a very laid back environment.

The Oliver St. John Gogarty

This pub attracts the younger crowd and even hosts a hostel upstairs. The food is informal plus they offer a large selection of rare whiskies. The Oliver St. John Gogarty presents live traditional music sessions every evening and overall, a fun, if a bit wild, vibe. As a side note, Dublin’s population is the youngest in Europe. Almost half of the city…49%…is under the age of 30.

The Quay’s Bar

This pub, with the fine restaurant upstairs, resides in the heart of Temple Bar. Live music begins at 3:00 PM daily. The menu and the musical artists range from traditional Irish to modern to international. This is an excellent pub to take a break in and enjoy lunch, an afternoon tea or a cup of Irish coffee.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area vegan meal
Explore Dublin’s Temple Bar area – I enjoyed a vegan meal and a hot tea at The Quay’s Pub.

Lunch in Dublin’s Temple Bar Area

Our girls’ group enjoyed an afternoon in Temple Bar. We visited the bright red namesake pub and found it too crowded to enter. After strolling the narrow streets and enjoying the sights and sounds of the neighborhood, we settled on The Quay’s Bar for lunch. What an excellent choice!

The Quay’s Restaurant, located upstairs above the pub, provided the perfect spot to relax and refuel. Windows let in ample sunlight, creating a cheerful, inviting space to dine. My mother and I both ordered plant based meals and hot tea. The Quay’s offers a variety of scrumptious dishes to please everyone, including vegetarian and vegan options. My rice dish topped with arugula tasted amazing.

As is common in the UK, restrooms are typically located down a flight of stairs. When my mother, sister Linda and I ventured down to find the restrooms, we walked through the much livelier pub section. The Irish are such a fun people…joyful, humorous and open armed. A couple of young men happily posed with us for a photo and gave us warm hugs too.

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area Quay's Bar
Having fun at Quay’s Bar and Restaurant. Isn’t my little mama adorable?

Find the Temple Bar District

The Liffey River creates the northern boundary of Temple Bar. Dame Street marks the south side, Fishamble Street lies to the west and Westmoreland Street completes the square on the east.

We walked to the area from our apartment, crossing Liffey River on the historic Ha’Penny Bridge.

Nearby attractions include Trinity College, five minutes away on foot, Christ Church Cathedral, at the end of Dame Street, and Dublin Castle, four minutes away on foot.

The impact Dublin left on me creates a deep yearning to return. We barely scratched the surface of all that this amazing city offers, in our two days there. My Celtic roots, both Scottish and Irish, strongly compel me to return “home” and better know the land of my ancestors.

I’ll go back one day. A month spent exploring Dublin and farther out, all of Ireland, would barely quiet my longing. But what a start it will be…

Explore Dublin's Temple Bar Area Quays Restaurant
Girls’ lunch at The Quay’s Restaurant, Dublin.

Check out this Tale from Ireland:

St. Stephen’s Green Dublin

And these finds from Amazon:


Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.


St Stephen’s Green Dublin

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

During our girls’  UK trip in 2017, one of the places on my “must see” list was St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. The gardener in me, fascinated with all growing things, longed to explore there.

Happily the rest of the group agreed to a leisurely stroll through the 22 acre green, located in central Dublin, Ireland.

St Stephen's Green Dublin title meme

History of St Stephen’s Green

Until the mid 1660s, a marsh occupied this area outside of Dublin. A leper colony existed here at that time, named for the nearby St Stephen’s Church.

In 1663 the land went into development with plots sold for houses. A wall surrounded the green as Georgian style homes went up around the perimeter.

By the end of the 1770s, the green provided a private park for the wealthy residents of the city. Access to the park remained restricted until 1877 when Parliament opened the green to the public.

Sir A.E. Guinness, a member of the Guinness brewing family, paid for the structuring of the green into its current form.

During the Easter Rising of 1916, a group of insurgents took up defensive positions within the green. More than 200 armed men in the park, and many more scattered throughout the city, attempted to end British rule and establish an independent Irish Republic. They failed, after six days, and almost 500 people died. However their actions led to an increase in support for Irish independence.

Bullets holes are still visible in the Fusilier’s Arch, at the entrance to the park.

St Stephen's Green Dublin underside of arch
Underside of the Fusilier’s Arch in St Stephen’s Green Dublin. There are bullet holes in this arch.

Sights to see in St Stephen’s Green

While strolling through this gorgeous park, the largest green space in Dublin, check out these interesting sights.

Braille Garden

In the northwest corner of the park, find the Braille Garden. This little garden, filled with fragrant plants that tolerate handling, makes use of braille signs to identify the flowers.

The Fusilier’s Arch

Mentioned above, the arch commemorates the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who fought during the Second Boer War. Erected in 1907, the arch forms the entrance to the park, at Grafton Street. The structure is modeled on the Arch of Titus, in Rome.

St Stephen's Green Dublin Fusilier's Arch
The Fusilier’s Arch, St Stephen’s Green Dublin.


Three Fates Fountain

This fountain inside the Leeson Street Gate was a gift from the Germans. The statue within the fountain is a thank you for Irish help to refugee children during WWII. At least 500 children found foster homes in Ireland, in a project called Operation Shamrock.

The Green Lake

Spanning the length of the green is an ornamental lake. A gazebo rests at one end and the O’Connell Bridge provides a great vantage point at the other end. The lake is home to a variety of water fowl, including beautiful swans.

St Stephen's Green Dublin water fowl
A variety of water fowl inhabits the lake in the green.

Bandstand and Playground

On the south side of the main garden circle is the bandstand. Workers and students gather here for lunch. During the summer music entertains park visitors as they picnic. A playground nearby entertains children of all ages.

Famine Memorial

There are many statues and works of art throughout the green. One of the most touching is the Famine Memorial. Created by Edward Delaney, in 1967, the haunting abstract sculptures memorialize the Great Famine of 1845 – 1850. Eventually referred to as the Irish Potato Famine, during this time of mass starvation one million people died and another two million immigrated. Ireland’s population fell by 20% – 25%, creating a century long decline that the country never completely recovered from.

St Stephen's Green Dublin famine memorial
The Famine Memorial, St Stephen’s Green Dublin.

Places to Visit Near St Stephen’s Green

While in the area, check out these nearby attractions:

Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, located on the west side of the green, is one of Ireland’s largest shopping centers. Built in 1988, the style resembles a conservatory.

Little Museum of Dublin, on the north side of the green, is housed in a restored Georgian townhouse. The museum chronicles Dublin’s history during the 20th century, including the Easter Rising. Enjoy a meal in the famous cafe, Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen, located in the basement.

And the historic Shelbourne Hotel is on the north side as well. Currently operating as a Marriot International Hotel, the Shelbourne has been at the center of Dublin’s social and cultural life for 200 years. Enjoy an elegant afternoon tea here.

St Stephen's Green Dublin pathways
Pathways loop around St Stephen’s Green Dublin.

Exceeding Expectations

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in St Stephen’s Green. Tree lined pathways circle the park, making it easy to navigate. I loved this vibrant green space with its flower gardens, sculptures, play areas and lake.

The green is well worth a visit, for a change of pace from the bustling city and for its natural setting, art and historical value.

Months before our girls’ trip, I planned out a visit to this park, studying maps and reviews and reading articles. That’s part of the fun of traveling, planning and anticipation.

The reality of visiting the park surpassed my expectations. St Stephen’s is a true gem in Dublin, and a green one at that!

St Stephen's Green Dublin girls trip
O’Connell’s Bridge by the lake provides the perfect photo op.

Check out these helps from Amazon:



Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, all at no extra cost to you.