The Emerald Isle is home to beautiful landscapes, famous authors and poets (such as William Butler Yeats, Beckett, and James Joyce, to name a few) — and of course, Guinness and Irish whiskey.
Here are the top 100 most popular Irish baby names for boys — buachaillí — featuring the names parents living in Ireland named their newborns in 2017. You can sort them alphabetically or by length, search the set, and view up to 100 names at a time. (Bonus: Find out more about the history of Irish names below the list.)
The Ancient Irish, like the Greeks and Hebrews, were called by only one name — such as Aonghus, Diarmaid or Domhnall. However, for the sake of distinction, a name derived from some personal peculiarity — or a patronymic formed by prefixing “Mac” to the genitive case of the father’s name, or “O” to that of the grandfather — was sometimes added.
Last names, in the modern sense, were unknown in Ireland before the tenth century. This usage necessitated a large number of names, and led to the formation of a very varied and interesting Gaelic personal nomenclature.
Some of these names, no doubt, lived only for a short time and have long since entirely disappeared; but we have names, like Art, Aodh (which would be the modern-day Aidan), Cian (Sean), Comhghan (Cowan), Diarmaid (Dermot), Domhnall (Donald), Eoghan (Ewan/Owen), etc. which have been in uninterrupted use from the earliest period of which we have any record down to the present day. Many others, though long obsolete as first names, are still preserved in our surnames.
Name source: Central Statistics Office, Ireland (2017); Some text was adapted from “Irish names and surnames” by Patrick Woulfe (1922)