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Irish Baby Names for Boys and Girls

Irish Baby Names

Irish Boy Names

Traditionally Irish Names were often repeated within a family tree. Boys were named according to the following pattern:

  • The first born, oldest son was named after his Father's father (grandfather)
  • The 2nd son named was after the Mother's father (maternal grandmother)
  • The 3rd son named after his Father (junior)
  • The 4th son named after the Father's oldest brother (paternal uncle)

Popular Irish names for boys are: Allan, Barry, Brendan, Brodie, Connor, Colm, Declan, Desmond, Devlin, Erin, Kelly, Neal, Sean, and Tyrone.

Irish Girl Names

Traditionally girls were named after women on their father's or mother's side of the family.

  • The Oldest daughter was named after the Mother's mother (maternal grandmother)
  • The 2nd daughter was named after the Father's mother (paternal grandmother)
  • The 3rd daughter was named after the Mother
  • The 4th daughter was named after the Mother's oldest sister (maternal aunt)

Common Irish baby names for girls are: Aidan, Alana, Bridget, Brodie, Caitlin, Deirdre, Kathleen, Christy, Eileen and Kelly.

In Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) areas it remains customary to use a name composed of the first name, followed by the father's name in the genitive case, followed by the name of the paternal grandfather, also in the genitive. Thus Seán Ó Cathasaigh, son of Pól, son of Séamus, would be known to his neighbours as Seán Phóil Shéamuis. Occasionally, if the mother or grandmother was a well-known person locally, her name may be used instead of that of the father or grandfather. If the mother's name is used, then that of the maternal grandfather (or potentially grandmother) follows it.

These names are not used for official purposes. Often a nickname or English version of a name is used in their composition where the person would use a standard Irish form in formal circumstances. For example, the prominent sean-nós singer Seán Mac Dhonnchadha is perhaps better known as Johnny Mhairtín Learaí.

An Irish blessing for children and babies: May all the blessing of our Lord touch your life today...May He send His little angels to protect you on your way...Such a wee little fit, sent from above...Someone so precious to cherish and love...May sunshine and moonbeams dance over you head...As you quietly slumber in your bed...May good luck be with you wherever you go...And your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.


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