17 common Irish surnames and what they mean
Life & Style

17 common Irish surnames and what they mean

THERE are Irish surnames littered across the world.

So much so that many of them have invaded other cultures, particularly those in western Europe and the United States.

Most of them are steeped in history, and can be translated back into Gaelic to give one heck of an insight into your roots.

So with that in mind, here's 17 of the most common Irish surnames, and what they mean:

Murphy

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Gaelic Equivalent ó Murchadha

Meaning sea-battler

 

Kelly

Gaelic Equivalent ó Ceallaigh

Meaning bright-headed

 

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O’Sullivan

Gaelic Equivalent ó Súilleabháin

Meaning dark-eyed

 

Walsh

Gaelic Equivalent Breathnach

Meaning Welshman

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Smith

Gaelic Equivalent Mac Gabhann

Meaning son of the smith

 

O’Brien

Gaelic Equivalent ó Briain

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Meaning high, noble

 

Byrne

Gaelic Equivalent ó Broin

Meaning a raven

 

Ryan

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Gaelic Equivalent ó Maoilriain

Meaning king

 

O’Connor

Gaelic Equivalent ó Conchobhair

Meaning patron of warriors

 

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O’Neill

Gaelic Equivalent ó Néill

Meaning from Niall of the Nine Hostages

 

O’Reilly

Gaelic Equivalent ó Raghallaigh

Meaning descendant of Raghallach

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Doyle

Gaelic Equivalent ó Dubhghaill

Meaning dark foreigner

 

McCarthy

Gaelic Equivalent Mac Carthaigh

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Meaning loving person

 

Gallagher

Gaelic Equivalent ó Gallchobhair

Meaning lover of foreigners

 

O’Doherty

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Gaelic Equivalent ó Dochartaigh

Meaning hurtful

 

Kennedy

Gaelic Equivalent ó Cinnéide

Meaning  helmet headed

 

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Lynch

Gaelic Equivalent ó Loinsigh

Meaning seafarer, exile