A new use for the claddagh

You have probably seen the claddagh before whether you knew it or not. The claddagh ring is often used as a promise or engagement ring. The design consists of two hands holding a heart upon which rests a crown. It represents, love and friendship and loyalty. It is a familiar and much loved design in Ireland.

I recently came across an interesting upcycling of the claddagh when I was searching for an urn…more precisely, an urn for the ashes of a loved one. My search led me to an American company called The Irish Wake. It was started by the children of an Irish American woman, who could not find the product they wanted when their mother passed, and so, their company was created to fulfill that need.

The urns and boxes are made from marble, wood, and porcelain, although I think the wood boxes are the most beautiful. They all feature exclusive designs. Expect this to set you back several hundred dollars (which is a fraction of what a casket costs, btw, and I think much more environmentally responsible).

This photo shows the box The Irish Wake produces with the claddagh.


I absolutely love the simplicity of the design on this urn/box. I think it would be a fitting repository for any loved one’s remains.

Upcycling the Irish town

Celtic dance

Not possible to go to Ireland? Then just go to Ohio. What are the Irish doing there? Well, read on…

You probably learned in middle school history class about the Irish immigrants to the U.S. as a result of the potato famine in the 1850’s. The people could no longer sustain themselves in Ireland because of their lost crops, so they came to the U.S. in hopes of a better life. Like all other immigrants from Europe at that time, they entered through the port cities of New York and Boston. They were not met with open arms. Americans did not want more competition for jobs and the Irish immigrants were ridiculed and treated poorly.

As a result, many Irish left New York and Massachusetts and moved west toward Pennsylvania and Ohio. They worked in the mines and helped to build canals (such as the Erie Canal). Some of them prospered and were able to establish themselves in business.

The Sells family purchased land northwest of Columbus, Ohio in the early 1800s and gave it to one of the brothers to develop and live there. He named it in honor of their family birthplace: Dublin, Ireland.

The city of Dublin, Ohio is today a charming, upscale bedroom community to the greater city of Columbus. There is a PGA golfcourse there. Every spring, the Muirfield Golf Club and Arnold Palmer host a golf tournament of about 150 of the top golf pros in the country. It is a well attended event and brings many visitors to town.

Dublin Ohio

Downtown Dublin is comprised of quaint buildings housing gourmet restaurants and shops. There is an Irish shop, of course, called Ha’Penny Bridge Imports of Ireland. They sell jewelry, crystal, china, linens, hats and even, kilts! You can also rent a kilt for a special occasion.

Dublin also has an Irish pub called The Brazenhead. The owners traveled throughout Ireland to purchase items with which to build and furnish the venue so that it would not only look authentic, but be authentic as well. For food they feature very tasty hamburgers and fish and chips. There is live music from local Irish bands most evenings. They serve an extensive list of Irish beers, ales, stouts and whiskeys. You will definitely enjoy yourself. Make sure you get yourself a ride back to your lodgings.

As for lodging, there is an “Irish Approved” hotel called The Cloverleaf Residence Suites where Irish decor and music are featured. You can arrange an Irish Welcome and even attend an Irish Wake should you wish to do so.

Celtic Brawn

Dublin, Ohio runs their annual Irish Festival the last weekend of July. There are workshops to learn how to play traditonal instruments, and explore Irish folkcrafts. There will be Celtic gaming events, Celtic dancing and plenty and plenty of music. It’s huge and it’s all things Irish!

Click here for a great website to fill you in on the details.