Instinct is stronger than upbringing.
Note: The word “dúchas” is difficult to translate into English, making this proverb open to interpetation. In the English form above, this proverb gives the nod to nature over nurture. You are your genes. Heredity overcomes education. Dr. Henry Higgins never had a chance with Eliza Doolittle. Briseann an dúchas trí shúile an chait.
However, “dúchas” also means hertitage. Hertitage is stronger than upbringing. For the Irish diaspora, this could mean that one’s Irish roots provide a greater part of one’s identity than the land in which one was raised. The Japanese have a proverb along these lines, “breeding rather than birth.” You may be an Irish American, but you are more Irish than American.