Irish Love Stories to Share with your Valentine!

by Kirsten Fedorowicz
0 Comment(s)
Irish Love Stories to Share with your Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate with some of our favorite Irish love stories!

The story of the Claddagh ring

The most famous symbol of Irish love is, of course, the Irish Claddagh ring. The story of the Claddagh begins with a man named Richard Joyce who was deeply in love with a women, her name lost to history. Richard and his beloved lived in the town of Claddagh, a colorful fishing village just outside of Galway. One day, Richard was captured by pirates and sold into slavery.

During his time in slavery, Richard was trained in craftsmanship by a kindly owner. In order to remember the woman he left behind, Richard began to craft a ring to give to her upon his return. His owner, impressed by Richard’s devotion, eventually released him.

When Richard returned to Claddagh, he saw that his beloved had waited years for his return, always confident that he would make it back for her. They were married soon after his return, using the band he made as wedding ring. The ring that Richard Joyce presented to his love is known now as the Claddagh ring and is worn by people all over the world.

Biddy Murphy carries a variety of beautiful Claddagh rings. Check them out here!

      Connemara Marble             Gold Ring                     Sparkling Ring      

The story of Kylemore Abbey

The beautiful Kylemore Abbey stands on a small bay in Connemara, Co. Galway. Surrounded by mountains, the picturesque Abbey stands like an elegant Irish castle among the rocky surroundings. Now a tourist location, Kylemore Abbey has a storied history.

On their honeymoon, Margaret and Mitchell Henry fell in love with the stunning Connemara area. Margaret remarked to her husband, a wealthy eye surgeon, that it would be lovely to live in the area. Twenty years later, the first layer of foundation was laid for what would soon become Kylemore Abbey. The luxurious castle was an ode to Margaret’s eye for beauty; decorative birds surround the castle signify Mitchell’s hopes that the abbey would become a “nesting place” for their family.

Margaret and Mitchell thrived in Connemara, escaping their London lifestyle to the idyllic countryside. Margaret was beloved by the locals, and their children thrived in the area.

Several years after Kylemore was finished, a vacation to Egypt, Margaret fell ill and died within two weeks. She was only forty-five. Heartbroken, Mitchell placed her body in a mausoleum in the woods. He remained at Kylemore for the remainder of his days, living to be eighty-four before joining his wife in the woods.

The legend of Diarmiud and Grainne

After spending years grieving for his dead wife, legendary war hero Finn Mac Cumhaill decided to look for another wife. The daughter of High King Cormac Mac Airt, Grainne, caught his attention. Despite being thirty years his junior, beautiful Grainne was intelligent and artistic; she would make a lovely companion for the aging Finn.

Grainne’s father encouraged her to accept the marriage proposal, so she did. At the celebration of her proposal acceptance, however, she was disarmed by the age distance between her and her future husband. She saw immediately that she could not love him. During the feast, she instead made conversation with one of Finn’s warriors, a handsome man by the name of Diarmiud. After a night of conversing, Grainne fell in love with brave, smart, and kind Diarmiud. She asked him to run away with her.

Diarmiud was torn. Though he had fallen in love with Grainne too, he had a deep loyalty to Finn and knew that their young love would deeply upset him. He spent days and nights pondering this decision, the days until the wedding creeping up on Grainne. Out of desperation, Grainne put a sleeping pill in all the warriors’ drinks at dinner one night. She faced Diarmiud with the final proposal  “You can watch me from a distance, unhappy as the wife of your master, or we can run away now and forever be happy.” The idea of watching Grainne, miserable as Finn’s wife, was too much for Diarmiud, and he agreed to run away with her.

When Finn woke up the next morning, he was outraged to find his favorite warrior and future wife had abandoned him. He immediately rounded up the warriors and went in pursuit of the couple across the Irish countryside, over grassy hills and stony mountains. Diarmiud and Grainne stayed one step in front of the warriors, finding shelter in caves and castles, all the while falling deeply in love with each other. Diarmiud and Grainne got married on Lettergesh beach, in Co. Galway, and then continued down the coastline. This chase went on for years.

When Grainne got pregnant, she decided that the chase had gone on long enough. She encouraged her husband to speak to Finn. Bravely, Diarmuid went to speak with his former master, confident Grainne is tow. He apologized for their abandonment and begged for Finn’s forgiveness and blessing to live their lives. Seeing pregnant Grainne, the aged and tired Finn realized that the chase had been fruitless. He stopped the pursuit, and told them they could live on in peace.

This embracing couple is an image of Diarmiud and Grainne, whose love for each other kept them sane through a years-long chase. Buy it here. 

The first four letters of Grainne’s name “Gra” is the Irish word for love. It seems only fitting that she is immortalized for her great love story! If you, like Diarmiud and Grainne, have a great love story, check out these beautiful love plaques for Valentine’s Day!

              Heart Knot Plaque.                        Ogham Letter Plaque


I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

by Kirsten Fedorowicz


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Popular Posts

Small Business Owner's Day - The Inspiration Behind Biddy Murphy

Small Business Owner's Day - The Inspiration Behind Biddy Murphy

Read more
Celebrating the Feast of  St. Patrick

Celebrating the Feast of St. Patrick

Read more
Irish Traditions for St. Patrick’s Day

Irish Traditions for St. Patrick’s Day

Read more

Follow Us