20 Irish baby names (and how to say them)

Names from the Emerald Isle have such a touch of romance about them. Here are some of our favourites....

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When it comes to choosing a name for your little one, there’s no doubt that an Irish baby name can conjure up a hint of romance and mystery.

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Ireland is a country steeped in myth, folklore and fairytales, and its traditional names have fabulous meanings – not to mention, for the non-Irish eye and ear, beautifully unusual spellings and pronounciations that mark them out from the norm.

Take a look at some of the most stunning monikers this beautiful country has to offer – and find out what they mean, and how to pronounce them.

Boys’ names

  • Aedan or Aodhan (aid-an) – means ‘born of fire’
  • Ciaran (kier-an) – means ‘little dark one’
  • Danann (don-an) – from the tribe of the goddess Danu
  • Fintan (fin-tan) – means ‘fair haired’ or ‘white fire’
  • Feidhelm (fail-im) – means ‘beauty’
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  • Lorcan (lor-can) – means ‘silent’ or ‘fierce’
  • Odhran (or-an) – means ‘dark-haired’
  • Quinn (quinn) – means ‘intelligent’
  • Reilly (rye-lee) – means ‘valiant’
  • Tadgh (tie-g) – means ‘poet’ or ‘philosopher’

Girls’ names

  • Bronagh – (bro-na) means ‘sad’ or ‘sorrowful’
  • Cliona (clee-o-na) – means ‘shapely’
  • Ealga (ale-ga) – means ‘brave’
  • Ide or Ida (ee-da) – means ‘thirst for knowledge’
  • Kyna (key-ma) – means ‘love’ or ‘affection’
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  • Meara (meer-a) – means ‘sea’
  • Maebh (may-v) – means ‘the cause of great joy’
  • Nuala (noo-la) – means ‘exceptionally lovely’
  • Orlaith or Orlagh (or-la) – means ‘golden princess’
  • Roisin (ro-sheen) – means ‘little rose’
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The most popular Irish baby names 

Perhaps (or not) surprisingly, traditional Irish names aren’t the most popular baby-name choices in Ireland itself. None of the traditional names we’ve featured actually made it to the top of the list of the most popular baby names registered in Ireland in 2015.

In fact, Emily was the most popular girls’ name and Daniel was number 1 for boys, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Top 5 girls names in Ireland:

  1. Emily
  2. Amelia
  3. Emma
  4. Mia
  5. Anna

Top 5 boys names in Ireland:

  1. Daniel
  2. James
  3. Jack
  4. Conor
  5. Adam
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