Most people take the phrase “The Luck of the Irish” to mean that the Irish are a particularly lucky people, luckier than others. People who are Irish or of Irish heritage are proud of the fact.
ORIGIN OF THE TERM
The term Luck of the Irish was originated in the United States. There are varying theories regarding how it got started, and some of the time the phrase was not intended to be a particularly complimentary one.
● Sad History Theory
According to some historians, this is a phrase intended to describe the sad history of Ireland and the tragedy of the Irish having to leave their beautiful country to survive: i.e. Bad Luck of the Irish, poor dears..
The Irish potato famine began in 1845 when a fungus-like organism that ruined the potato crops spread through Ireland. The Irish relied heavily on potatoes as a food source. Before the end of the infestation in 1852, about one million Irish had died of starvation and related causes, and at least another million left the homeland as refugees.
The Irish in American had a tough time and were not well regarded at the beginning of the mass emigrations. Integrating into the American culture and becoming successful was a struggle: it took a lot of character and determination. Ungraciously, other Americans used the term Luck of the Irish to mean the Irish had success only because they were lucky, not because they were hard-working.
Mackay became one of the major industrialists in American and also headed a telegraph business that laid transatlantic cables. He helped finance the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway Company.
The Luck of the Irish, combined with hard work and brains.
● Good Luck Theory
"The luck of the Irish" means good luck. People use it when a person of Irish descent inexplicably beats the odds. (Beating the odds isn't inexplicable, it just looks that way, but it surprises observers.)” Posted by R. Berg, phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/
Whether or not The Luck of the Irish is good, bad or the same as anyone else’s, the Irish have great pride in the homeland and their heritage plus an awesome sense of humor.
On Saint Patrick’s Day [the patron saint of Ireland ], March 17, the heritage of the Irish is celebrated worldwide and all the rest of us can take part as well. And looking at the festivities that go with the Irish Heritage Day, the Irish are indeed lucky.
ÓCH! SAINT PATRICK WASN'T IRISH!
In spite of being the Apostle and Patron Saint of Ireland, Patrick was born in Roman Britain, near Dumbarton, Scotland, in the year 387. His father, Calphurnius was a deacon from a Roman family of high standing, and his mother, Conchessa, was a close relative of St. Martin of Tours.
At the age of sixteen [perhaps as young as fourteen], Patrick was captured by a band of Irish pirates attacking his father's estate. He was taken to Ireland where he was enslaved for six years near Slemish, County Antrim. [Other scholars claim he was taken to County Mayo near Killala.]
Where ever he was held, he worked as a shepherd. Alone and afraid, he turned to his religion for comfort and direction. It was then he became a deeply devoted Christian. The rest of the story is another blog.