Top inspirational Irish quotes

George Bernard Shaw quote. We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. Image copyright Ireland Calling
George Bernard Shaw quote. We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. Image copyright Ireland Calling

The Irish are a dynamic people and have achieved great success in all walks of life across the world. Here is a selection of the most inspirational quotes from leading figures from Irish history and culture.
The great appear great because we are on our knees! Let us rise! James Larkin. Image copyright Ireland Calling
James Larkin was a trade unionist in Dublin in the early 20th century. He campaigned to improve the rights of the Irish working classes, while Ireland was still ruled by Britain.

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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Oscar Wilde

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We are beaten, we will make no bones about it; but we are not too badly beaten still to fight.
James Larkin

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Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.
WB Yeats

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It’s like if you don’t go to a dance you can never be rejected but you’ll never get to dance either.
Maeve Binchy

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Douglas Hyde quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling
Douglas Hyde was a founder of the Gaelic League, and a went on to become the first President of Ireland.
Shamrock. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Play every match as if it’s your last, but play well enough so that it isn’t.
Jack Lynch

Jack Lynch played both hurling and Gaelic football to a high level. He later went on to become Taoiseach of Ireland.

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I never knew a man come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning.
Jonathan Swift
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We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
CS Lewis

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We learn from failure, not from success.
Bram Stoker

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Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Oliver Goldsmith

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George Bernard Shaw quote. We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. Image copyright Ireland Calling
Shamrock. Image copyright Ireland Calling

I’ve always believed no matter how many shots I miss, I’m going to make the next one.
Jonathan Swift

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Mistakes are the portals of discovery.
James Joyce

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But we are strong each in our purpose, and we are all more strong together.
Bram Stoker

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Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.
Oscar Wilde

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You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. CS Lewis quote. Image copyright Ireland Calling
Quotes Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

All images copyright Ireland Calling

More Irish quotes

Did you know?

People researching their Irish ancestry have received a welcome boost today as the Catholic parish registers are now available online. The registers are considered the single most important resource for researching Irish ancestry. Find out more.

Have you heard about…

A Group of fun-loving ladies called the ‘Dancing Grannies’ wowed onlookers on a Belfast street with an impromptu Riverdance performance. Find out more.

What about this…

‘The Irish Robin Hood’ - Redmond O’Hanlon is a legendary figure in Ireland. His ancestors had been a powerful family up until the 17th century, when their land was taken during the Catholic uprising and the Cromwellian invasion. So he became a highwayman. Find out more.

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