The origins of Father’s Day begins with two American women.
In 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia a woman by the name of Grace Golden Clayton wanted to remember the lives of 361 men who had been killed in a mining explosion. She went to the Methodist minister and suggested they have services honoring these fathers who were lost.
In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd was sitting in church in Washington state, listening to a sermon about Mother’s Day, when it occurred to her there was no day to honor fathers. Sonora admired her own father immensely. Her Dad, William Smart, had single handedly raised his six children on his small farm in Washington after his wife died following the birth of their sixth child.
These local services, and several others across the country were held informally but support for a nationwide holiday was strong. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended a day be designated a national Father’s Day holiday, but no action was taken. Then in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared, through an executive order, that the third Sunday in June was to be designated a national Father’s Day holiday. Finally, in 1972, the U.S. Congress formally recognized the national Father’s Day holiday.
Other countries around the world adopted Father’s Day as a holiday of their own, with most, including Ireland, choosing the third Sunday in June to honor Dad, although in Ireland, Father’s Day is not a public holiday. As in many other countries, Irish sons and daughters honor their fathers by giving them presents and indulging them in their favorite foods. Many Irish people whose fathers have passed away, remember their dads by donating to their favorite charity in their father’s name or performing other acts of service.
Irish sons seem to have a special relationship with their fathers. Ruth O’Connor of the Irish Examiner, asked several Irish celebrities to write letters to their dads,
whether living or deceased, in honor of Father’s Day, The letters are poignant and funny and highlight the special bond Irish men have with their dads.
The Irish, of course, are known for their sayings, proverbs and blessings and many have fathers and fatherhood as their subject. Here are just a few:
“You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”
“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.”
“Fathers and mothers hold their children’s hands for just a little while...and their hearts forever.”
“May embers from the hearth warm your hands.
May sunshine from and Irish sky warm your face,
May a child’s bright smile warm your heart,
And may everlasting love warm your soul.”
There’s nothing more Irish than Irish whiskey, so a great dessert made with some of the magic liquid would please most dads, Irish or not! Here’s a scrumptious whiskey spiked bread pudding recipe from Chef Andrew Zimmern courtesy of Food and Wine that’s just right:
Bread Pudding with Irish Whiskey
Irish Whiskey Sauce:
1 ¼ cups whole milk
½ split vanilla bean, seeds scraped
4 large egg yolks
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
¾ cup raisins
1 pound brioche, challah or white bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
¾ cup sliced almonds
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 ½ cups whole milk
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan.
Now that you have your ingredients, just go to Food and Wine
for directions on how to make this delicious dessert for your dad.
Most dads love a nice card and special dish cooked just for them for Father’s Day but secretly they are also hoping you’ll pick out a nice Dad’s Day gift for
them as well. Here are some Irish themed ideas:
- A good Irish whiskey like the Jameson’s used in the recipe above or Middleton’s
- A custom coffee mug with his favorite Irish saying
- A personalized family shield showing off his Irish heritage
- A gorgeous Irish crystal whiskey decanter with a set of glasses
- An Irish tin whistle and music book
- A beautiful Irish Aran sweater
- A set of Guinness golf balls
- A Donegal cashmere scarf
- An Irish linen shirt
- A fine piece of Irish jewelry such as handsome piece from our Celtic warrior collection.
We work with Ireland's best jewelry designers to bring you the very finest in
Each piece is handcrafted by artisans in Dublin, Ireland from sterling silver, yellow gold, and white gold.
This Father’s Day, bring a little Irish into your Dad’s life, whether he hails from the Emerald Isle or not.
I’ll leave you with this Irish Blessing in honor of
all dad’s this Father’s Day:
May love and laughter light your days,
And warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
Wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world,
With joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
Bring the best to you and yours!