Wise Old Words From Ireland For Mother’s Day

Wishing all mothers of the world a very happy Mother’s Day. This holiday may be celebrated on different days throughout the world, but this weekend let’s join American families to honor our mothers with sincerest sentiments of love and gratitude.


To mark this day I thought I might share some Irish wisdom on motherhood and some Irish blessings for Mother’s Day.

Our mothers are precious gifts from God.  So together let’s celebrate their selfless, unconditional love.

Some of these quotes are nostalgic and sentimental in the style of years gone by.

One is written for mothers-to-be.

Kavanagh’s poetic words memorialize his mother.  One excerpt even explores the notorious Irish Catholic style of mothering, but all pay well-deserved tribute to mothers everywhere.

I hope you enjoy these quotations and Irish blessings as much as I enjoyed gathering them.

Irish Mother In Window from Vintagerio.comImage Credit


“This heart, my own dear mother, bends,

With love’s true instinct, back to thee!”

~ Thomas Moore.



“All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy.

No man does. That’s his.”

~ Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895



“A man loves his sweetheart the most,

His wife the best,

And his mother the longest.”

~ Old Irish Saying

Mother And Children - www.vintagerio.comImage Credit

“A mother holds her children’s hands for a little while,

But their hearts forever.”

~ Unknown 



“Tis the month of Mary,

Blessed Queen of the May,

Mother of God we pray you,

Bless and protect all mothers,

On this their special day.”

~ Irish Prayer



“May embers from the hearth warm your hands,

May sunshine from an Irish sky warm your face,

May a child’s bright smile warm your heart,

And may everlasting love warm your soul.”

~ Irish Blessing


http://vintagerio.com/vintage_clip_art_g52-black_white_clipart_p2431.htmlImage Credit

“There is but one and only one,

Whose love will fail you never.

One who lives from sun to sun,

With constant fond endeavor.

There is but one and only one.

On earth there is no other.

In heaven a noble work was done,

When God gave us a Mother.”

~ Old Irish Verse



“Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but

they don’t want them to become politicians in the process.”

~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy



“Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world,

a mother’s love is not.”

~ James Joyce

Mother and Child ClipartImage Credit


“May the emerging spirit of your child

Imbibe encouragement and joy

From the continuous music of your heart,

So that it can grow with ease,

Expectant of wonder and welcome

When its form is fully filled…..

And it takes its journey out

To see you and settle at last

Relieved, and glad in your arms.”

 ~ John O’Donohue – To Bless The Space Between Us



“A mother’s love’s a blessing,

No matter where you roam.

Keep her while she’s living,

You’ll miss her when she’s gone.

Love her as in childhood,

Though feeble old and grey,

For you’ll never miss a mother’s love,

Till she’s buried beneath the clay.”


~ Thomas P. Keenan from the song  A Mother’s Love’s A Blessing.


Vintage Irish MotherImage Credit


” “All that praying you made us do,” complained Maggie.

“And making us go to Mass. And starving us on Good Friday…

And making us feel ashamed of our bodies

and guilty about absolutely everything.

No, Ma, you were the pits.”

Nuala glowed with pride, truly she had been the best of Catholic mothers.”

~ Marian Keyes

Excerpt from Late Opening At The Last Chance Saloon.



“I do not think of you lying in the wet clay

of a Monaghan graveyard; I see

you walking down a lane among the poplars

on your way to the station, or happily

going to second Mass on a summer Sunday–

you meet me and you say:

“Don’t forget about the cattle–“

among your earthiest words the angels stray…..”


~ Patrick Kavanagh

Excerpt from his poem In Memory Of My Mother.



Mother and Baby - Clipart

 Image Credit

“God made a wonderful mother,

A mother who never grows old:

He made her smile of the sunshine,

And he moulded her heart of gold;

In her eyes He placed bright shining stars,

In her cheeks fair roses you see;

God made a wonderful mother,

And He gave that dear mother to me.”


~ Pat O’Reilly

Excerpt from his poem Wonderful Mother

Vintage Clip Art - Mom Washing Boy

Clean Behind Your Ears

Image Credit

“God could not be everywhere,

So He invented mothers.”

~ Old Proverb


“There is but one and only one on earth,

there is no other.

In Heaven a noble work was done

when God gave man a Mother.”

~ Irish Blessing


“A Mother is one

who can take the place of all others

but whose place no one else can take.”

~ Wise Old Irish Words

I hope you enjoyed this little round up of Irish sayings for Mother’s Day. If you are interested in some Irish poetry dedicated to mothers, why not check out my post on Irish Poems for Mother’s Day.

Wishing everyone a very happy Mother’s Day, filled with love and happiness as we celebrate our mothers’ unconditional love.


Lá Na Máithreacha Sona Daoibh!

(Happy Mother’s Day)


Irish American Mom





  1. Maureen O' Hanlon says:

    Thank you, Mairead. this is a lovely tribute to all Mothers

    • Maureen – I had fun gathering all these little quotations and putting them together. I never before knew there were so many Irish insights and little tributes to mothers.
      All the best,

  2. That was nice to read so many good quotes about Mother’s! Thanks for taking the time to gather them for us! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Thanks for a lovely collection of blessings, sayings, poetry and prose from Ireland especially for Mother’s Day. I hope you have a lovely day with your kiddos.

  4. Peggy Hopes says:

    Mairead, thank you so much for the lovely blessings! Hope your Mother’s Day is a lovely one.


  5. La alainn duit Mairead anam cara.

    • Agus leat féin, Martine. Tá an ghrian ag taitneamh inniú i gcomhair na máithreacha go léir in Kentucky, tar éis cúpla laethenta fliuch. Slán agus beannacht leat, mo chara dhílis.

  6. Thank you Mairead! Have a deliciously relaxing day!

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