Irish Claddag Ring

My Claddagh Ring my boyfriend got me 7 years ago.
My Claddagh Ring my boyfriend got me 7 years ago.

My grandfather immigrated to the United States in 1947 when he was just 19-years-old. He was born in County Cork, Ireland, but came to the U.S. to create a better life for himself because there was nothing for him in Ireland. Growing up I always knew I was Irish, however, my grandpa never really talked about his life growing up in Ireland. It wasn't until I started dating my boyfriend Shane, 7 1/2 years ago that I began to learn about my Irish culture. Shane's parents are both from small towns outside of Dublin and he lived there for about 5 years of his life. 2 months after we started dating he went to Ireland for Christmas and brought me back this Claddagh ring. I had always known about Claddagh rings and was so excited to have one of my own from Ireland. Being with Shane has allowed me to explore my Irish culture more than my grandpa ever taught me. I have now been able to visit Ireland twice; the first time I was able to meet my grandpa's brother and his wife who live in Cork. My grandpa died in 2013 so I never got to share with him my experiences in Ireland or the fact that I got to spend time with his brother. I am thankful that through Shane, I am able to learn about my grandpa's life and my Irish culture. This Claddagh ring represents the beginning of my journey of learning about my Irish culture and I know my grandpa is looking down on me proud of who I have become and the man I choose to spend my life with. The Claddagh ring comes with a quote that I love, "With my two hands I give you my heart and crown it with my loyalty." 

Place(s): Ireland
Year: 1947

– Alexa Hamel

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant