Irish tattoos are often worn to depict ancient Celtic Ireland and include Celtic knots, key tattoos, Moon tattoos and the shamrock. An Irish belief is that mirrors capture souls upon death, and because of this, many ladies were buried with mirrors in their hands to keep their souls safely underground. Mirror tattoos are a popular choice for ladies in Ireland.
Celtic knots have significant meanings such as the Mystic knot with no beginning or end visible. This tattoo is a favorite choice of lovers.
Skeleton key tattoos symbolize Irish charm or St. Peter, believed to be the one in possession of the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Other key tattoos include the key to success, the key to life, the key to wisdom or the key to love. Moon tattoos mark the celebration of Halloween or the Celtic Samhuin festival, when it is believed that the veil between other realms and the world is thinnest.
The shamrock in Irish lore has only three leaves. Celtic belief holds that anything that carries the number 3 is lucky, signifying the trinity of the past, the present and the future or the earth, the sky and the underworld. Often, specific tattoos are worn to signify loyalty to a particular paramilitary subgroup or political group involved in the Protestant-Catholic conflict in Ireland.