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Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Ryan Sean Kelly/Instagram

12 uniquely brilliant tattoos by Irish artist Ryan Sean Kelly

Including a pint of Guinness and the Poolbeg Towers.

THE POOLBEG TOWERS, a pint of Guinness and Post Malone might seem like three things that have nothing in common.

But each of them has been used as a tattoo design by Irish artist Ryan Sean Kelly, owner of tattoo parlour Heartbreak Social Club, located in the heart of Dublin city on Capel St.

Dublin native Ryan’s career as a tattoo artist started unexpectedly after his plan to join the army when he finished school was delayed due to the recession. 

Speaking to, he said: “I’ve always loved drawing since I was a kid and played with the idea of tattooing when I was in school, but I never intended to pursue it as a career.

“I went to get my first tattoo soon after [finishing school] in memory of my grandfather. It crossed my mind again as a career choice but I didn’t really have the confidence in my work to pursue it.”

After undertaking a health and fitness course in UCD while waiting to for enlistment in the army to recommence, Ryan got another tattoo and “really fell in love” with the process.

At the age of 18, he began his apprenticeship as a tattoo artist in Dublin Ink and eight years later, he has his own tattoo studio with his business partner Ro Graham. 

Specialising in single needle tattoos (the method of using a single needle to create the tattoo rather than a multi-needle machine) Ryan, 26, has amassed a tribe of 10.2k followers on Instagram, where he shares his work.

Here are 12 of his most interesting creations that have us wanting to get inked… 

1. Nothing beats a pint of the black stuff

2. A dog who definitely deserves a treat

dog @ryanseanthepirate / Instagram @ryanseanthepirate / Instagram / Instagram

3. A very good pup

4. A tattoo of a heavily-tattooed Post Malone

5. Probably the only way we’ll ever catch a butterfly

6. Dublin’s iconic Poolbeg Towers

poolbeg @ryanseanthepirate / Instagram @ryanseanthepirate / Instagram / Instagram

7. Tupac’s memory lives on in this photo-like ink

8. A detailed skull and globe sketch

9. These two are having a ~whale~ of a time 

10. Who knew a skull tattoo could be so dainty?  

11. A rose so realistic we can almost smell it 

rose @ryanseanthepirate / Instagram @ryanseanthepirate / Instagram / Instagram

12. … And another

More: 12 hilarious everyday Google questions, as illustrated by Irish artists>

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