How to say ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’ in Irish

Written by Linda Rafferty on 24/03/2022


How to say ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’ in Irish


Renowned Irish playwright and poet John Millington Synge once said; ‘There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting. Indeed, the Irish language though difficult to master is a thing of true beauty and mellifluous tones. If you grew up in Ireland or perhaps chanced your arm at learning Gaelic at some stage in your life, you’ll know that it is a rich and complicated tongue in which there is often more than one way to say a particular phrase.

In this article, we are going to focus solely on wishing someone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day so that you can impress a friend or loved one when the big day comes around on Thursday 17th March.

How to say ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’ in Irish

Without a shadow of a doubt, the most common way of wishing someone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day in Irish (as Gaeilge) is to simply say ‘Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!’. In English this literally translates to ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!’. It might seem like a mouthful, but don’t worry, we’re going to show you exactly how to pronounce it too!

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!

It’s one thing glancing over the Irish words to wish someone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day but pronouncing these Gaelic terms properly and comfortably is a whole other ballgame!

  • Firstly, ‘Lá’ is pronounced as Law.
  • ‘Fhéile’ is pronounced Ay-La.
  • ‘Pádraig’ is pronounced Paw-Drig.
  • ‘Sona’ is pronounced Hona.
  • Finally, ‘Duit’ is pronounced Dit.

You can listen to the audio below:

So ‘Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!’ becomes LAW AY-LA PAW-DRIG HONA DIT.

(We’d recommend practicing one, two, or maybe fifty times in the mirror before you go public!)

A Little Something Extra

You’ve come this far and worked this hard to wish someone an authentic Happy St. Patrick’s Day this year, so we’d like to reward you with a little parting seanfhocail as a token of our appreciation.

For those of you who don’t know, a seanfhocails are huge part of the Irish language, and are essentially old Irish proverbs as Gaeilge.

In keeping with today’s theme of trying to learn something new, we will leave you with this:

‘Tús maith leath na hoibre’

‘A good start is half the work’



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