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Irish Blessings for Friendship: Celebrating Intricate Bonds

Friends make our lives richer in every way. 

Companionship brings laughter and joy to our lives and offers support in times of needs. 

Often we take our friendships for granted. 

Sharing blessings is just one way that we can express our gratitude to the friends in our lives.

Irish Blessings for friendship are a great way to do this. 

Here are some of our favorite heartfelt Irish Blessings friends will cherish. 

They are perfect to share on the International Day of Friendship or any other day of the year!

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Irish Blessings

Two 99s or whipped ice-cream cones with a blessing.
Whipped soft vanilla ice creams known as “99s” are a sign of the summer and good times for many people in Ireland. (Photo: Amani A via Shutterstock, text added via

Irish Blessings are short, uplifting messages usually in the form of a phrase, short poem or prayer. 

They are typically very versatile and can be applied to different circumstances. 

Some Irish blessings and Irish sayings have a serious tone and convey solemnity. 

In many cases, Irish humor and wit, which are an integral part of Irish culture, shines through. 

Irish Blessings in Irish Culture

Ireland has a long history of blessings. 

This can possibly be traced back to its strong oral tradition of storytelling and sharing knowledge. 

The bestowning of blessing on someone is a long established tradition that stretches back centuries. 

Many Irish prayers and blessings were handed down through the generations of families. 

They are a way of showing love, gratitude and respect for one another. 

Weddings, funerals and birthday celebrations frequently employ Irish Blessings as a way of enriching and personalizing the event.

Irish Blessings are definitely a very central part of Irish culture and daily life. 

They reflect the endearing qualities of warmth, charm and humor that is so commonly associated with this culture.

Why are Irish Blessings popular?

For centuries, generations of Irish left the shores of the Emerald Isle and settled as immigrants in far off places around the world. 

They brought their old Irish traditions, culture and customs with them. Sharing blessings was just one of these traditions that has endured the test of time. 

Irish blessings are simple in their meaning and can be used in various situations and with different kinds of friendships.

Woman hiking with a view of the Irish landscape with a blessing.
Irish blessings can also be extended to your four-legged friends! (Photo: shawnwil23 via Shutterstock, text added via

The phrases relay uplifting messages in a concise, or even poetic way. 

They sometimes use very beautiful imagery and feature a healthy dose of humor. 

This can lighten the mood and help bring a smile, even when the situations are challenging.

For many people, traditional Irish Blessings are a way to express their heartfelt emotions in a sincere and positive way.

Irish Blessings Friendship

In our busy lives, we can sometimes forget to appreciate the things in life that are incredibly valuable. 

Friendships are one of those essential elements of life that have profound impacts on health and wellbeing. 

Making time for friends and letting them know how much you appreciate them are sometimes neglected in our fast-paced lives.

It is necessary to continually work on our relationships with our friends for them to stay healthy. They are like a garden that needs to be cared for in order to flourish.

By showing appreciation and gratitude, it is possible to strengthen the bonds of these friendships.

Through their expressions of love, appreciation, commitment and support Irish friendship blessings can help to reinforce these ties.

This applies not only to friends, but also to our closest kin. These Irish Blessings can easily also be applied as Irish Blessings for family. 

(The reminders about the simple joy in life are sometimes the elements of Irish blessings family members forget from time to time!)

Short Irish Friendship Toasts

Two friends chatting over a cup of tea with a blessing text.
Two friends chatting over a cup of tea. (Photo: siamionau pave via Shutterstock, text added via

These short Irish Blessings are perfectly suitable as Irish toasts for friends. 

May there be a generation of children on the children of your children.

A friend’s eye is a good mirror.

May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.

May luck be your friend in whatever you do
And may trouble always be a stranger to you.

May the roof above us never fall in,
And may we friends gathered below never fall out.

May the Lord keep you in His hand 
And never close His fist too tight.

Irish Blessings of Love and Marriage

We have created an entire guide to Irish Wedding Blessings and blessings connected with love. Here are some snippets from it.

When the roaring flames of your love
Have burned down to embers,
May you find that you’ve married your best friend.

May you look back fifty years from now
And agree that today was the worst
day of your married life.

Two people sharing a view of the Sky Road with a text blessing.
Two people sharing a view of the Sky Road in Connemara, County Galway. (Photo: Jacek Rogoz via Shutterstock, text added via

Irish Friendship Blessings for Luck

Help to share some Irish luck with your friends and family with these Irish blessings.

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

Irish Friendship Blessings for Support

When times are tough, an Irish Blessing for hard times can help reaffirm support and companionship when it is needed most. 

This is also true when it comes to the loss of a loved one. We have covered this sensitive topic in our Funeral Blessings from Ireland article.

Other inspiration can be found in the comforting Irish Prayer for the Dead

May strong arms hold you
Caring hearts tend you
And may love await you at every step.

Two people watching the sunset over the sea with an Irish Blessing.
Two people watching the sunset over the sea. (Photo: 4kclips via Shutterstock, text added via

May the face of every good news,
And the back of every bad news
Be toward us.

We cannot share this sorrow
If we haven’t grieved a while.
Nor can we feel another’s joy
Until we’ve learned to smile.

The following can be thought of as an Irish healing prayer:

May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Irish Birthday Blessings for Friends

Birthdays are a time of celebration with friends. 

It can be a time to reconnect with those friends you do not get a chance to see very often. 

Here are a few thoughtful blessings to wish your friends a Happy Birthday.

Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers,
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours.
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through.

Bonus Birthday Blessings! 

If you are looking for an Irish Blessing for family or friends to mark their birthday, we have a few good ones here to share with you. 

Just take a look at our Related Article: Happy Birthday in Irish

Lá breithe sona duit!
(Pronounced: Law breh-ha sun-ah ditch)

This is used if you are wishing one person a happy birthday.

Lá breithe sona daoibh!
(Pronounced: Law breh-ha sun-ah jeeve)

This birthday wish literally means “Day of birth happy to you”.

Lá breithe sona dhuit a chara
(Pronounced: Law breh-ha sun-ah ditch ah khor-ah)

Happy Birthday to you my friend.

Sunset over the Sleeping Giant in Kerry with a blessing.
May you live the day or congratulations to you is another way to wish someone a happy birthday in Irish. (Photo: Potstock via Shutterstock, text added via

Go maire tú an céad

May you live to be a hundred

Go maire tú i bhfad 

Long life to you (or Congratulations)

Go maire tú an lá

Many happy returns of the day (which directly translates to “may you live the day”)

Irish Friendship Blessings for Every Occasion

These versatile blessings come in useful if you are looking for a loving Irish saying about family or friends. 

May the dreams you hold dearest be those which come true,
the kindness you spread keep returning to you.

May love and laughter light your days,
And warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
Wherever you may roam.

May the friendships you make, 
Be those which endure,
And all of your gray clouds, 

Be small ones for sure.
And trusting in Him To Whom we all pray, 
May a song fill your heart, 
Every step of the way.

Friends enjoying the Irish countryside on bikes with a blessing.
Friends enjoying the Irish countryside on bikes. (Photo: gabriel12 via Shutterstock, text added via

May the lilt of Irish laughter lighten every load, 
May the mist of Irish magic shorten every road, 
And may you taste the sweetest pleasures that fortune ere bestowed, 
And may all your friends remember all the favors you are owed.

Lucky stars above you,
Sunshine on your way,
Many friends to love you,
Joy in work and play,
Laughter to outweigh each care,
In your heart a song
And gladness waiting everywhere
All your whole life long!

(Bonus Tip: For some blessings for a new born or for a baptism you should check our Irish Baby Blessings.)

May the blessed sunlight shine on you
And warm your heart
Till it glows like a great peat fire.

There are good ships 
And there are wood ships, 
Ships that sail the sea, 
But the best ships are friendships, 
May they always be.

May God be with you and bless you,
May you see your children’s children,
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.

May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

An Irish Prayer that is well liked is St. Patrick’s Breastplate. (It is an old Irish blessing prayer that is usually sung as a hymn.)

This is a short section of section verse:

Christ with me, 
Christ before me, 

Christ behind me,
Christ in me, 
Christ beneath me, 
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, 
Christ on my left, 
Christ when I lie down, 
Christ when I sit down, 
Christ when I arise.

Funny Irish Friendship Blessings

Two friends admiring the view and sunset in Ireland with a friendship blessing.
Two friends admiring the view and sunset in Ireland. (Photo: ianmitchinson via Shutterstock, text added via

May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty.

Here’s to those who wish us well,
As for the rest, they can go to Hell!

May your troubles
be as few and as far apart
as my Grandmother’s teeth.

As you slide down the banisters of life,
may the splinters never point the wrong way.

May your coffin be made of finest wood 
from a 100-year-old tree, 
that I’ll go plant tomorrow!

For some more lighthearted and witty Irish Blessings, you should read our guide.

The Irish Blessing or The Irish Prayer

The Irish Blessing loved by many is the famous “Irish Blessing” or “Irish Prayer”. 

It is probably one of the most popular of all Irish Blessings. 

This blessing is recited at many types of occasions, including weddings, funerals and going away parties.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

To gain some more insight into this much loved Irish Blessing, read our Guide to May the Road Rise to Meet You.

Irish Blessings for Strengthening Friendships

Friendships work on the basis of mutual respect, trust and understanding. 

The meaningful sentiments that are expressed in Irish Blessings help to support these important foundations. 

Friends can relate to the shared values and experiences or perhaps “in-jokes” conveyed in the words of the Irish Blessings.

This can help to reinforce existing connections in the relationship and create a stronger sense of community and togetherness. 

Families can also strengthen their relationships through blessings. 

Some may have their own Irish family blessing that holds a special meaning for them.

Two friends at Glendalough in County Wicklow with Saint Patrick's Behold.
Two friends at Glendalough in County Wicklow. (Photo: VVlasovs via Shutterstock, text added via

The Claddagh Ring: An Irish Friendship Symbol

Irish people typically value friendships quite highly. 

One of the Irish symbols that Ireland is most known for is the Claddagh Ring.  The symbolism of this ring is deeply rooted in friendship. 

This design features a heart that is clasped by two hands. On top of the heart there is a crown. 

The hands that hold the heart symbolize friendship in a Claddagh Ring, while the heart represents love and the crown stands for loyalty.

These rings from Galway on the West Coast are now a popular type of Irish jewelry and occasionally as a Claddagh Ring tattoo design

They are popular wedding and engagement rings helping to bring an Irish connection to a marriage celebration.

Discover the proper way to wear a Claddagh Ring to display your relationship status in our detailed Claddagh Ring Guide

Discover more Irish Blessings

The emerald green isle of Ireland has contributed greatly to the topic of blessings.

Feel free to delve deeper into the world of blessings on our website. 

Discover more Irish sayings about friends, as well as Irish sayings about family and Irish quotes about family.

These all come in useful if you are searching for the perfect greeting for International Day of Friendship!

For some starting inspiration, why not check out some of our short and sweet Irish Blessings and put a smile on your face.