Picture of students using computers in the library

A Sand Shark St. Patty’s Day

March 17, 2014

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning ( except for last week on account of Spring Break  ), I admire periodically (from the span of 8:00am to 9:15am in my Public Communication class): two small beautiful jewels... each jewel is set upon the hand of each of the two girls seated in the desks to my right.. and the jewels: Claddagh rings-- and  it is evident to myself that each of these particular rings have been delicately crafted. Yet no matter the Claddagh ring, or who wears it, this symbolic trinket magically seems to fit with an adorning perfection and a simplistic elegance of those who bestow it upon their hand. A mystical attribute from a legend of love. Yes, some origins simply cannot go untold.


THE CLADDAGH RING "The Claddagh's distinctive design features two hands clasping a heart, and usually surmounted by a crown. The elements of this symbol are often said to correspond to the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown). The way that a Claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey the wearer's romantic availability, or lack thereof. Traditionally, if the ring is on the right hand with the heart facing outward and away from the body, this indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship, and may in fact be single and looking for a relationship: 'their heart is open.' When worn on the right hand but with the heart facing inward toward the body, this indicates the person wearing the ring is in a relationship, or that 'someone has captured their heart'. A Claddagh worn on the left hand ring finger facing outward away from the body generally indicates that the wearer is engaged. When the ring is on the left hand ring finger and facing inward toward the body, it generally means that the person wearing the ring is married."

 THE CLADDAGH RING ORIGIN“One legend …is of a man named Richard Joyce, member of the Joyce clan and a native of Galway. He left his town to work in the West Indies, intending to marry his love when he returned. However his ship was captured and he was sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith. In Algiers, with his new master, he was trained in his craft. When William III became king, he demanded the Moors release all British prisoners. As a result, Richard Joyce was set free. The goldsmith had such a great amount of respect for Richard Joyce that he offered Joyce his daughter and half his wealth if Joyce stayed, but he denied his offer and returned home to marry his love who awaited his return. During his time with the Moors he forged a ring as a symbol of his love for her. Upon his return he presented her with the ring and they were married. "

I look upon my classmates Claddagh rings and that of even my own… I find my mind briefly enchanted with thoughts of our own roots…inquiries of our own lineage... wonderment into our own origins…and before restoring my focus back to the topic at hand in class… I think on how my mother had even given me my Claddagh ring at a time when I was away at school in NYC and in the midst of an ancestry project which required my expedition into that of my Irish lineage. It was inspiring, deeply meaningful, and rooting  to even merely begin on the search of my roots.

Yet confounding and frustrating as it can be, it simply is not uncommon to not know a lot about our origins (or be able to discover a lot about our origins)…and it is not just the origins of ourselves we may not know much about either. We also struggle to know or understand the origins of the words we speak, the ideas we have, the things we study, the traditions we hold-- and furthermore the days we celebrate.

AND SO --in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this 17th of March 2014, I have delved into history.com (oh how delightful the internet is) and I have found some magically delicious videos (excuse my un-clever and not-so-Irish humor) that expand upon just who St. Patrick was (this person whose name is honorably written across this day), how and in what ways this day has come to be celebrated across the globe, and how the day has morphed largely into a celebration of Old Blue’s (our planet’s) Ireland and the Irish culture…

As I depart from this writing I hope that as you eat your Corn Beef and Cabbage that you may now remember that this meal was an affordable delicacy for our first Irish-Americans: a special treat they could first afford as they ventured away from the grips of Potato Famine in hopes of starting a new life and following new dreams in new land... and  I hope that as you sport your clover antennas on this day that you may remember those clovers dangling above your head were St. Patrick’s teaching partners of a highly regarded faith that swept the Irish country...and   I hope that as you pinch someone who is not wearing green that you may remember the person you're pinching--if they are wearing a particular shade of blue, well, they are actually still honoring Ireland’s beloved St. Patrick (whose predominant worn color was blue)…so   here’s to demystification! here’s to being inspired! here’s to kissing someone Irish! here's to finding origins! May you all find the luck, faith, adventure, and perseverance of the Irish!

Yours Truly: Erin Go Bragh, Ireland Forever, Sand Shark:

Celebrating this day of Our St. Patrick who transformed the Snakeless Land,

Erin Dailey

Another fun video on the history of St. Patrick:

Claddagh Ring Meaning - CladdaghRing.com. (n.d.). Claddagh Ring Meaning - CladdaghRing.com. Retrieved March 17, 2014, from http://www.claddaghring.com/How-to-wear-claddagh-rings-a/122.htm

St. Patrick's Day. (n.d.). History.com. Retrieved March 15, 2014, from http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day