> Irish Toasts

Irish Toasts for all occasions

Irish Toasts are both poetic and creative. We have put together a list of Gaelic and Irish drinking toasts, many humorous and funny, for Christmas, New Years and other special occasions. We have so many that I have put Irish Birthday Toasts and Irish Wedding Toasts on separate pages of their own.

Irish Toasting

Toasting in Ireland is often a very understated thing, done quietly among a couple of friends with warmth, humour and sincerity. Unlike in many movies, the chat of the whole bar is generally not (and should not) be stopped. Choosing the right time and moment for a toast is vital, so as not to interrupt the flow of good conversation!

The toasts I include below are pretty traditional. But feel free to play with them and alter them to suit the moment. From days spent working in my father's pub in Co. Wicklow, I remember the best toasts as the ones which were spiced with a little creativity.

I also give the Gaelic version of some toasts, particularly where short or quite well-known. For these Irish toasts, I include a rough pronunciation guide. Just remember that 'ch' in Gaelic is like the 'ch' in 'loch', not as in chalk. If you can't manage that, pronounce as a 'k' to be understood.

Just a few days after the Queen of England visited Ireland in May 2011, President Obama visited Moneygall, home of his ancestors to have a pint of Guinness in a local pub. He toasted in the traditional way 'Sláinte' and even paid for his own pint!

Obama's Sláinte toast
Ireland visit 2011

Note on Queen's Toast

There will be few toasts as significant as that which ended the Queen's  speech in Dublin back in 2011. She even began with a few words of Gaelic which was significant when you consider what was a fairly good effort by the British to eliminate the language over the centuries. Also, in fairness to her, she addressed the deeper issues of the pain caused on both sides. It was great to see, a positive step.

Christmas and New Years Toasts

Happy Christmas to you!

Nollaig shona dhuit!
(pronounced Null-ig hun-ah gwit)

A prosperous New Year to you!

Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!
(Aw-vlee-an fee vosh-eh gwit)

The light of the Christmas star to you 
The warmth of home and hearth to you 
The cheer and good will of friends to you 
The hope of a childlike heart to you 
The joy of a thousand angels to you 
The love of the Son and 
God's peace to you.

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St Patrick's Day Drinking Toast

Blessing of St. Patrick's Day on you

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!
pronounced Ban-awch(k)-tee nah Fay-leh Paw-rig ur-iv!)

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Irish Drinking Toasts

A bird never flew on one wing

Explanation: What you say to someone to encourage them to have a second drink.

When money's tight and hard to get,
and your horse is also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt,
a pint of plain is your only man
(Myles na Gopaleen aka Flann O Brien aka Brian Ó Nualláin)

Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn.
(Pronounced Fawd say-al aw-gut, gub fluch(k) aw-gus bawss in Ay-rinn)

Let's be drinking!

Beimid ag ól!
(Pronounced Beh-mid egg ole)


I drink to your health when I'm with you,
I drink to your health when I'm alone,
I drink to your health so often,
I'm starting to worry about my own!


May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!

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Toasts for other and any occasion

May we be alive at this same time again next year

Go mbeirimíd beo ar an am seo arís
Pronounced Guh mer-i-meed byoh er an am shoh areesh

Health! (Cheers)

(Pronounced Slawn-che)

One hundred thousand welcomes!

Céad Míle Fáilte!
(Pronounced Kayde Mee-leh Fall-che)


What is Irish diplomacy?
It’s the ability to tell a man to go to hell,
So that he will look forward to making the trip.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

May your right hand always
Be stretched out in friendship
And never in want.

May you have nicer legs than yours under the table before the new spuds are up.

Explanation: Irish toast, said to a single man

May misfortune follow you the rest of your life, and never catch up!

May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live! 

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Funny Irish Toasts

I drink to your health when I'm with you,
I drink to your health when I'm alone,
I drink to your health so often,
I'm starting to worry about my own!

There's no cure for love except to marry

Níl aon leigheas ar an ngrá ach pósadh.
(Pronounced Neel ane lie-ass er on nraw awch(k) poe-sah

May all your ups and downs be under the sheets.

May a mouse never leave your meal bag with a tear in its eye!

Love is blind but marriage restore eyesight!

May the good Lord take a liking to you...
But not too soon!

It is better to spend money like there's no tomorrow
than to spend tonight like there's no money.

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the
devil knows you're dead.

May the good Lord take a liking to you...
But not too soon!

Here's to our wives and girlfriends…
May they never meet!


If you have a favorite Irish toast that I haven't included, I would love to hear from you. So contact me!

And remember it's hard to toast when you are too drunk too speak - so drink sensibly!

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Pages related to Irish Toasts

Find out about the best Irish whiskey brands and a little of the history of 'uisce beatha'.

Irish blessings are often used as toasts. Check out our Irish Blessings page and our Irish Marriage and Wedding blessings page.

We have created separate Irish Birthday Toasts and Irish Wedding Toasts pages where you will find lots of other great and free Irish toasts to celebrate special occasions with.

And we have lots of great Irish proverbs on our Famous Irish Sayings, our Irish Love Sayings and Gaelic Sayings pages which really must have a look at, plenty for any occasion.

Visit our Irish Love Poems and Irish Wedding Poems pages for poetry, verse and songs of love, many translated from Gaelic

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