Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish—learn how to greet someone in Ireland's native Gaelic

Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish—how to say it in Ireland's native tongue and other easy greetings to use on St Patrick's day and beyond

Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish—Lightbox with text. Green clover confetti over brown wooden background. Card for St Patrick's Day with copy space for text.
(Image credit: Anna Blazhuk/Getty Images)

Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish is easy to say but, as with many words in the Irish language, has very confusing spelling for non-native speakers. Here's your how to on how to greet people in Ireland's mother tongue and a few other sayings to keep in your wheelhouse for future use.

Considering the tiny dot on the map that is Ireland, the land of saints and scholars has spread its influence across all four corners of the globe. On March 17 every year, people all over the planet drink Guinness, don more shades of green than you even realized existed, and make fashion statements like DIY St Patrick's Day nails.

Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish—St. Patrick's Day flat lay, with golden confetti, green clover and drinks.

(Image credit: Anna Blazhuk/Getty Images)

How to say Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish

As anybody who's familiar with Irish names will tell you, it's not a phonetic language so the best thing to do is just ignore the visual element of the phrase, and begin with the phonetics.

Happy St Patrick's Day in Irish, or as Gaeilge as we say in Irish, sounds like, “Law leh Paw-drig suna ghit.”

It's written as, “Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!”

Here's a very handy video from Gaelchultúr Teoranta, a Youtube channel dedicated to making learning Irish easy.

Easy Irish phrases

  • Sláinte (slawn-cha)—technically means 'good health' but it's more commonly used to toast a drink!
  • Failte (fall-cha)—welcome
  • Dia dhuit (jee-ah-gwit) —hello 
  • Slán (slawn)—goodbye
  • Go raibh maith agat (Guh rev mah agut)—thank you
  • Tá failte romhat (taw fall-cha roat)—you're welcome

History of the Irish Language

Notoriously tricky, Irish is one of the oldest written and historical languages in the world. Per Údarás na Gaeltachta, it's a Celtic language that is closely related to Scottish and Manx Gaelic. It is also related to Welsh, Cornish, and Breton languages too.

It has three main dialects—Munster, Connacht, and Ulster—which differentiate the language. 

Sadly, the Irish language is one of the many languages that have been ravaged by colonialism, with the vast majority of Irish people speaking English as their mother tongue. 

Despite this, Irish people still learn to speak their native tongue in school and there are areas known as 'Gaeltacht' areas where the language is still the predominant language spoken.

Aoife Hanna
Aoife Hanna

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.