What I Miss About Ireland – Rainbows

Rainbows are beautiful symbols of Ireland, made famous by the lure of leprechaun gold, stored in little black pots at rainbow’s end.   Irish rainbows feature prominently in fairytales of old, yet to this day they frequently appear in the cloudy skies of my homeland.

Today I thought it would be nice to share some photos of Irish rainbows, as I reminisce.   Thank you so much to all the wonderful photographers who captured these beautiful skies, and graciously made their work available for sharing through Flickr.com.


Rainbow Near Clarinbridge, Co. Galway

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Rainbows are something I miss living here in America.  That may sound foolish considering rainbows are not an exclusively Irish phenomenon and are known to illuminate America’s beautiful, bright skies.  But rainbows are rare in Kentucky compared to the frequency of their glorious appearance in the skies of the Emerald Isle.


Castlerock, County Derry

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Walking the winding lanes or boreens of Ireland, rainbows seem to appear on the horizon, out of nowhere.  There is something spiritual about seeing a rainbow.  Before its appearance the weight of the world may be laying heavily upon the mind.  One glimpse of heavenly rainbow colors makes everything right with the world.


Ventry, Co. Kerry

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County Kerry rainbows feature frequently in this post.  Kerry is home to all the perfect ingredients for rainbow magic.  Majestic mountains, Atlantic ocean spray and plenty of clouds and rain create magnificent rainbow lit panoramas.


Cloghane, Co. Kerry

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Another Kerry rainbow illuminates some grazing cows.  They must have eaten the pot of gold.  This rainbow appears to end amongst the cows.  Legend has it a wily leprechaun guards his loot diligently.  If his treasure is in danger of discovery, he will trick the unwitting human to retain control of his booty.

There is an old story of an Irishman who discovered a bush where the treasure was buried.  He needed to return home for his shovel so he tied a red ribbon to one of the branches, making the leprechaun promise never to touch the ribbon.  Upon his return he discovered every tree and bush covered in red ribbons.  There is no tricking a leprechaun!


Inchydoney Beach, Co. Cork

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A double rainbow adorns this stormy sky in County Cork.

Whenever I see a rainbow I think of Noah’s story from the Bible.  A rainbow is God’s sign reminding us when times get tough, it is best to appreciate the little things in life.  No matter how dreary life may seem, despite the clouds and rain, we should always look for sunshine and rainbows.


Rainbow in the West of Ireland

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Clarity of color and incredible width are often breath-taking features of Irish rainbows.


Dingle, Co. Kerry

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The pot of gold at the end of this Kerry rainbow is hidden somewhere on the sandy beach on the Dingle peninsula.


Rainbow at Ballyheige, Co. Kerry

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A windblown tree seems to bow down reverentially to this majestically clear rainbow.  What a beautiful photo, capturing the full arc of this rainbow.


Inch Island, Co. Donegal

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 A double rainbow captured in Co. Donegal.  In these days of doom and gloom in Ireland, I hope the sight of rainbows will renew hope in a better future.


St. Patrick Blesses A Rainbow

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Since Americans associate pots of gold at rainbow’s end with St. Patrick’s Day, I think this photo is very appropriate.  In this fabulous picture, Ireland’s favorite saint appears to bless that ever illusive leprechaun stash.

And finally ….

My favorite Irish rainbow picture:



Kinvara, Co. Galway

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The reflection of the rainbow in the still gray waters of the lake is picture perfect.  What an amazing shot!

Thanks for taking this rainbow tour of Ireland today.  If you have any shots of rainbows from around the world and would like to share them online just let me know.  I would love to feature them in future posts.

Slan agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)



Irish American Mom