Bestowing a name to a new child is an enormous decision. Generally speaking, your child will live with it for their entire life. New parents of all stripes have some almost universal criteria. Everyone wants to pick a name that sounds nice and is meaningful. We just have infinitely many different opinions on what sounds nice and what that meaning should be! If you want an Irish name that is like music and sings to your heart, you have no shortage of choices. These names are Irish gifts you can give your children that will last a lifetime.
Legendary Irish Names
Fionn (also Finn) – Fionn McCool gained immeasurable wisdom from the Salmon of Knowledge and became the greatest warrior of his time in Ireland. He became the leader of the Fianna (warriors) and stars in many battles and legends.
Grainne – Two different legendary Irish women bore this name, which means ‘grace’. The Fenian cycle of Irish mythology includes the story of Diarmuid and Grainne, who fell in love immediately upon meeting. Sadly, they met after Grainne had gotten engaged to Fionn and Diarmuid was his top warrior. The couple fled, and Diarmuid was fatally gored by a boar protecting Grainne. Grainne O’Malley, who undeniably really existed, was a fearsome pirate queen, as brave as she was beautiful.
Maeve (also Medb) – Queen Maeve of Connaught’s determination to acquire the best bull in Ireland sparked the epic Cattle Raid of Cooley. Known as a warrior queen, Maeve was powerful, generous and above all, determined to succeed no matter what obstacles she encountered.
Oisin – Fionn’s son followed in his footsteps and became a great Celtic warrior. His most famous adventure is Oisin in Tir na Og (the land of the young). He fell in love with the princess Niamh and went to live with her in that magic land beneath the water where no one aged.
Irish Saints’ Names
Brendan – Brendan the Navigator was from the Dingle Peninsula. Famous for his epic voyage across the Atlantic, which plausibly included reaching North America long before Columbus, he is the patron saint of sailors and whales.
Brigid – From County Kildare, Brigid was a strong and clever leader. She famously asked a local king for as much land as her cloak could cover, and when he agreed, her cloak magically expanded to cover many acres of land. She is the patron saint of babies, children of unmarried parents, midwives and scholars as well as being one of Ireland’s patron saints.
Naturally Irish Names
Daragh – From the Irish word meaning oak, this name is equally popular for boys and girls and can be spelled several ways including Dara, Darragh, Darach and Daire.
Roisin – This beautiful girl’s name is from the Irish word for rose.
Ronan – Literally meaning ‘seal’, this is a popular name for boys in Ireland.
Maybe you will give your child all sorts of Irish gifts, from literature to jewelry to clothing. But Irish names are Irish gifts that they will always carry with them, no matter where they go or what they do in life.