Irish names

Irish names

by Lorna White |
Updated on

There are many reasons you might consider Irish names for your newborn - and we certainly wouldn't blame you! Ireland is not only a beautiful place but offers a thriving culture and exciting history that you may wish to pay homage to, whether you or your partner personally have Irish heritage, you conceived your baby in Ireland or simply just love unique Irish names.

Dublin-born actor Colin Farell feels incredibly connected to his home: "Being Irish is very much a part of who I am, I take it everywhere with me."

"The depth of our cultural complexities, our music, literature, community, and the pain that we share means that I could be away from there for 50 years, and I wouldn't feel any less Irish."

Whatever your reason, to get started, take a look at our list of the best, most popular Irish baby names for boys and baby names for girls with their origin and meaning, and start making a shortlist of your favourites. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make as a new parent is choosing your baby’s name, so spend some time reading through the thousands of quirky baby name ideas we have collected and use our baby name generator for even more inspiration. Or check out our French baby namesItalian baby names or American baby name pages.

  • Ashleynn - girl name - meaning ‘dream’. Also a spelling variation for Aislinn.

  • Brady - boy name - meaning ‘large-chested’.

  • Ciara - girl name - meaning ‘dark beauty’. Ciara Princess Harris, known simply as Ciara, is an American singer, dancer, actress and model.

  • Cian - boy name - meaning ‘ancient’. Father of Lug in Irish mythology.

  • Elva - girl name - meaning ‘noble’. Also the name of a British sports car manufacturer.

  • Connell - boy name - meaning ‘high’ or ‘mighty’.

  • Fiora - girl name - meaning ‘fair and pale’. Sometimes used as an alternative to Fiona.

  • Devyn - boy name - meaning ‘poet’.

  • Maeve - girl name - meaning ‘intoxicating’. Famous Maeves include Queen Maeve from Irish mythology, author Maeve Binchy and writer Maeve Brennan.

  • Eoin - boy name - meaning God Is Gracious.

  • Mona - girl name - meaning ‘aristocratic’. A character from the children’s television programme Mona the Vampire.

  • Kilian - boy name - meaning ‘bright headed’. St Kilian was a bishop in Ireland in the seventh century.

  • Nuala - girl name - meaning ‘white shoulder’. A popular name in Ireland, likely to follow the pattern of Irish names that have been emerging more in England.

  • Oisin - boy name - meaning ‘fawn’. The name of an ancient Irish poet.

  • Riley - girl name - meaning ‘courageous’. Used as a boys’ name and girls’ name equally.

  • Ronan - boy name - meaning ‘little seal’. Singer Ronan Keating is known for his career with boy band Boyzone.

  • Sloane - girl name - meaning ‘man of arms’. Usually associated with Sloane Square in London, after which the Sloane Rangers are named.

  • Malachi - boy name - meaning ‘messenger of God’, the name of a Jewish prophet in the Bible.

  • Una - girl name - meaning ‘one’. Famous Unas include enduring British actress Una Stubbs and Irish singer Una Healy of The Saturdays.

  • Quaid - boy name - meaning ‘fourth’.

Top boy Irish names

  • Aidan – Gaelic, meaning ‘little fire’. Derives from Aodh, which is the name of a Celtic sun god.

  • Dara – Hebrew and Persian, meaning ‘wisdom’. Found in the Bible. Used for both girls and boys.

  • Liam – A shortened form of the Irish name "Uilliam," which is the Irish equivalent of the name "William."

  • Brandon – Old English, meaning ‘gorse’.

  • Rory – Irish and Scottish origin meaning ‘red king’.

  • Shane – Variant of Sean, meaning ‘God is gracious’.

  • Kealan  – Of Irish origin and is a variant of the name "Caoilfhionn."

  • Finn – Irish origin and is often associated with traits like bravery, wisdom, and fairness.

  • Declan – Irish, meaning ‘full of goodness’. Associated with St Declan, who was born in the fifth century.

  • Shay – The name "Shay" is often a short form of the name "Seán" or "Seamus," which are equivalent to "John" and "James" in English.

Top girl Irish names

  • Aislinn – Irish Gaelic, meaning ‘dream’

  • Brea – Shortened form of Brianna, meaning ‘strong’

  • Clodagh – Irish, meaning ‘river’.

  • Keira – Irish Gaelic, meaning ‘dark’.

  • Meryl – Irish Gaelic, meaning ‘sea-bright’.

  • Orla –  Irish Gaelic, meaning ‘golden lady’

  • Bree – An Irish variant of the name "Brígh," which means "strength" or "power."

  • Aoife – Gaelic, meaning ‘beautiful joy’. Usually associated with the goddess Esuvia.

  • Saoirse – Irish, meaning ‘freedom’.

  • Niamh – Gaelic, meaning ‘brightness’.

Unique Irish names

Looking for a more unusual boys name or unique girls name for your baby? We've got you covered with these Irish suggestions.

  • Laoise – girls name meaning radiance, this name is pronounced 'lee-sha'.

  • Padraig – The Irish equivalent of Patrick, a name that is also very popular in Ireland, even a little more so than Padraig. The name Padraig is derived from the Latin Patricius, which means 'patrician class' or 'noble'.

  • Emer – girls name pronounced 'ee-mer', this name means swift.

  • Brady – The male name Brady is a surname derived from the Irish surname Ó Brádaigh or Mac Brádaigh, meaning "spirited; broad".

  • Mairead – We love that this girls name means Pearl and is pronounced 'mur-rayd'

  • Callahan – Callahan is a boy's name of Irish origin which means "bright-headed."

  • ​​Fionnuala – Girls name meaning 'fair shoulder' or 'white shoulder,' symbolizing beauty.

  • Quaid – derived from the Gaelic word “gúaire,” which means “noble” or “proud.” In Irish history, the name is associated with the region of County Clare in western Ireland.

  • Oonagh – Pronounced 'oo-na', this girls name has a number of meanings including lamb (irish meaning), one and unity (latin meaning).

  • Dempsey – In the original Irish Dempsey is Ó Diomasaigh, from diomasach, meaning "proud" or "arrogant". The name was also occasionally anglicised "Proudman".

Cool Irish names

If you're on the hunt for a cool sounding name for your baby then there are some fun Irish name suggestions you might want to consider.

  • Coby - boys name, an alternative spelling of Cody, or Colby, meaning ‘son of Oda’.

  • Roisin – Irish Gaelic girls name, meaning ‘little rose’.

  • Devyn - Devyn is a gender-neutral baby name of Irish origin which derives from the Irish surnames Ó Damháin and Ó Dubháin and means “poet.”

  • Dacey – Irish Gaelic girl name, meaning ‘from the south’.

  • Reilly - meaning ‘courageous’. A very common boys first name and surname in Ireland.

  • Enya – Irish Gaelic girl name, meaning ‘fire’. Enya is an Irish singer and songwriter.

  • Kyllion – Irish boys name, meaning ‘war’.

  • Kiara – Irish girls name, meaning ‘dark’. Also Latin, meaning ‘light’. It is possible that the name could come from two sources – Irish ‘ciar’ meaning ‘dark’ or ‘dark haired’, or the Latin ‘chiara’, meaning ‘light’.

  • Malachi – Hebrew boys name, meaning ‘messenger of God’, the name of a Jewish prophet in the Bible. Also an Irish name.

  • Nola – Irish girls name with Gaelic origin, Latin meaning ‘white shoulder’. Also a city and area in Italy.

Cute Irish names

There are so many cute Irish boys names and cute girl names that you might want to consider on your hunt for the perfect name.

  • Kasey – Irish boy name meaning ‘alert’.

  • Shayla – Irish girls name, meaning ‘blind’.

  • Cassidy – Irish, meaning ‘clever’ or ‘curly haired’. Originated from the surname, Caiside.

  • Myrna – Irish Gaelic girls name, meaning ‘tender and beloved’.

  • Seamus – Irish variant of James, meaning ‘he who supplants’.

  • Myrtle – Irish, from the flowering shrub of the same name.

  • Doyle – Irish boy name, meaning ‘foreigner’.

  • Tara – Irish Gaelic girls name, meaning ‘rocky hill’.

  • Connor – Irish boys name, meaning ‘lover of hounds’. Evolved from the name Conchobhar King of Ulster.

  • Shona – Irish Gaelic, meaning ‘God is gracious’. Also associated with the Shona people of southern Africa.

Famous people with Irish names

  • Actor Cillian Murphy

  • ​One Direction's Niall Horan

  • Actress Saoirse Ronan

  • TV presenter Conan O'Brien

  • Actor Liam Neeson

  • Actress Neve Campbell

If you have decided to find out the gender of your baby, and you’re looking for a boys name to suit your son or a girly name fit for a daughter, then our round up of the best Irish girls names and Irish boys names are full of both unique and traditional ideas to add to your list of possible baby names. You can also head to our baby name generator where you’ll find thousands of names to fall in love with.

Lorna White is the Senior Digital Writer for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website, specialising in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, Lorna brought her expertise to Mother&Baby in 2020. She has a keen interest in a range of topics from potty training and nutrition to baby names and early development and has a wide range of experienced medical experts and professionals at her fingertips. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two young sisters, dog walking and enjoying the outdoors with her family.

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