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Irish Claddagh Tattoo

Kulbhushaan Raghuvanshi

The Claddagh tattoo is gaining popularity across the world. Let's discuss the meaning and history of this tattoo.
People love to get different types of tattoos. Tattoos are a symbol of belief for some people, while others associate them with something they love. You can choose from more than a billion designs today. Here is more about the history and different types of Claddagh tattoo designs.


The Claddagh is a vintage Celtic design which is native to Ireland. The most popular design is two hands holding a heart topped with a crown. The design is a beautiful and a lasting symbol of Irish love and affection. It represents eternal love, loyalty, and respect for one another.
Originally, it was worn as a wedding ring because it signified love and friendship. The origin of the tattoo comes from the famous ring, which is now worn by the Irish worldwide. You can wear this ring on both hands.


Though the Claddagh tattoo has gained many fans in recent times, the history of this symbol is more than 500 years old. The most common legend associated with this design is of a man called Richard Joyce, from Galway, Ireland.
Joyce was captured while he was working at sea and sold as a slave to a goldsmith in Algiers, now in Algeria. He was an excellent silversmith and did some amazing designs with gold. After King William III took over the throne of Ireland, he demanded the release of all British slaves, and so Joyce was released.
Joyce's master was very happy and pleased with his work; admiring his dedication, he offered him half of his fortune and his daughter's hand in marriage. Joyce politely declined his offer, and went back to give his true love the Claddagh ring he had designed when he was a slave.
This story happened in 1689, some historians also say that Joyce had sent his Claddagh ring back to his true love when he was a slave, asking her to wait for him.
According to another story, many Irish people left their homeland with all their belongings as the potato famine hit Ireland in the 1800s, so the women presented Claddagh rings to their loved ones. Hence, it gained popularity in other countries too, encouraging some amazing tattoos.

The Tattoo in the Modern World

The Claddagh has gained admirers all around the globe, and has made it as one of the most popular tattoos all around the world. The tattoo symbolizes eternal love or even friendship and loyalty. Often picked by couples and close friends, it can be inked anywhere on the body.
You can also select from a number of designs and colors. A great way to make your design unique is to add Celtic designs and crosses in the tattoo. Some tribal designs can also be added to make it look like a modern piece of art.
You can also use the tattoo as a gift to express your love and emotions on your wedding or anniversary.