Top 100 Irish Surnames & Last Names (Family Names Ranked)

The 100 Most Common Irish Family Names Ranked In Order.

When you read an Irish last name (or surname) such as O’Neill, Kennedy or Gallagher, you instantly know they are either Irish, from an Irish family or of Irish descent.

Irish people have influenced the world and their surnames have become well recognised and associated with the Emerald Isle.

Irish Last Names Today

There are many different origins for Irish family names today but the vast majority can be broken down into either of three categories: Gaelic Irish, Cambro-Norman, and finally Anglo-Irish.

It always prompts makes you ask, which names are the most common in Ireland?

The Table below gives a listing of the 100 most common last names found in Ireland and their meanings:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 1 Murphyó Murchadhasea-battler
 2 Kelly ó Ceallaighbright-headed
 3 O’Sullivan ó Súilleabháin dark-eyed
 4 Walsh Breathnach  Welshman
 5 Smith  Mac Gabhann son of the smith
 6 O’Brien  ó Briain  high, noble
 7 Byrne  ó Broin  a raven
 8 Ryan  ó Maoilriain  king
 9 O’Connor ó Conchobhair patron of warriors
 10 O’Neill ó Néill from Niall of
the Nine Hostages

 

 

Irish Family Names Ranked 11-20:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 11 O’Reilly ó Raghallaigh 
 12 Doyle  ó Dubhghaill  dark foreigner
 13 McCarthy Mac Carthaigh  loving person
 14 Gallagher ó Gallchobhair lover of foreigners
 15 O’Doherty ó Dochartaigh  hurtful
 16 Kennedy ó Cinnéide  helmet headed
 17 Lynch  ó Loinsigh  seafarer, exile
 18 Murray ó Muireadhaigh lord, master
 19 Quinn  ó Cuinn  wisdom, chief
 20 Moore  ó Mordha  majestic

 

 

Irish Surnames Ranked 21-30:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 21 McLoughlin Mac Lochlainn viking
 22 O’Carroll ó Cearbhaill  valorous in battle
 23 Connolly ó Conghaile  fierce as a hound
 24 Daly  ó Dálaighassembles frequently
 25 O’Connell ó Conaill  strong as a wolf
 26 Wilson Mac Liam  son of William
 27 Dunne  ó Duinn  brown
 28 Brennan ó Braonáin  sorrow
 29 Burke  de Búrca  from Richard de Burgh
 30 Collins ó Coileáin  young warrior

 

 
Irish Last Names Ranked 31-40:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 31 Campbell  crooked mouth
 32 Clarke  óCléirigh  clergyman
 33 Johnston Mac Seáin  son of John
 34 Hughes ó hAodha  fire
 35 O’Farrell ó Fearghail  man of valour
 36 Fitzgerald Mac Gearailt  spear rule
 37 Brown  Mac an Bhreithiún son of the brehon (judge)
 38 Martin Mac Giolla Mháirtín devotee of Saint Martin
 39 Maguire Mag Uidhir  dun-coloured
 40 Nolan  ó Nualláin  famous

 
 

Irish Surnames Ranked 41-50:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 41 Flynn  ó Floinn  bright red
 42 Thompson Mac Tomáis  son of Thom
 43 O’Callaghan ó Ceallacháin  bright headed
 44 O’Donnell ó Domhnaill  world-mighty
 45 Duffy  ó Dufaigh  dark, black
 46 O’Mahony ó Mathúna  bear-calf
 47 Boyle  ó Baoill  vain pledge
 48 Healy  ó hÉalaighthe  artistic, scientific
 49 O’Shea ó Séaghdha  fine, stately
 50 White  Mac Giolla Bháin of fair complexion

 

 
 

Irish Last Names Ranked 51-60:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 51 Sweeney Mac Suibhne  pleasant
 52 Hayes  ó hAodha  fire
 53 Kavanagh Caomhánach  comely, mild
 54 Power  de Paor  the poor man
 55 McGrath Mac Craith  son of grace
 56 Moran  ó Móráin  great
 57 Brady  Mac Brádaigh  spirited
 58 Stewart Stiobhard  one who superintends
 59 Casey  ó Cathasaigh  vigilant in war, watchful
 60 Foley  ó Foghladh  a plunderer

 

Irish Family Names Ranked 61-70:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 61 Fitzpatrick Mac Giolla Phádraig devotee of Saint Patrick
 62 O’Leary ó Laoghaire  calf-herd
 63 McDonnell Mac Domhnaill world-mighty
 64 MacMahon Mac Mathúna  bear-calf
 65 Donnelly ó Donnghaile  brown valour
 66 Regan  ó Riagáin  little king
 67 Donovan ó Donnabháin  brown, black
 68 Burns  from Scottish Burness
 69 Flanagan ó Flannagáin  red, ruddy
 70 Mullan ó Maoláin  bald

 
 

Irish Surnames Ranked 71-80:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 71 Barry  de Barra  Cambro-Norman name
 72 Kane  ó Catháin  battler
 73 Robinson   son of Robert
 74 Cunningham   Scottish name
 75 Griffin ó Gríofa  Welsh: Gruffudd
 76 Kenny  ó Cionaoith  fire sprung
 77 Sheehan O’Siodhachain  peaceful
 78 Ward  Mac an Bhaird son of the bard
 79 Whelan ó Faoláin  wolf
 80 Lyons  ó Laighin  grey

 

Irish Last Names Ranked 81-90:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 81 Reid  red haired,
ruddy complexion
 82 Graham   grey home
 83 Higgins ó hUiginn 
 84 Cullen  ó Cuilinn  holly
 85 Keane  Mac Catháin 
 86 King  ó Cionga 
 87 Maher  Meagher  fine, majestic
 88 MacKenna Mac Cionaoith fire-sprung
 89 Bell  Mac Giolla Mhaoil 
 90 Scott  a Scottish gael

 
 

Irish Last Names Ranked 91-100:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 91 Hogan  ó hÓgáin  young
 92 O’Keeffe ó Caoimh  gentle
 93 Magee  Mag Aoidh  fire
 94 MacNamara Mac Conmara  hound of the sea
 95 MacDonald Mac Dónaill  world-mighty
 96 MacDermott Mac Diarmada free from jealousy
 97 Molony ó Maolomhnaigh servant of the Church
 98 O’Rourke ó Ruairc 
 99 Buckley ó Buachalla  cow herd
 100 O’Dwyer ó Dubhuir  black

 
 

More about Irish Last Names, Irish Roots and Genealogy

The Irish people are an ethnic group native to the island of Ireland, who share a common Irish ancestry, identity and culture. Ireland as an island has been inhabited for about 12,500 years according to archaeological studies.

For most of Ireland’s history, the Irish have been primarily a Gaelic people (see Gaelic Ireland). Anglo-Normans conquered parts of Ireland in the 12th century, while England’s 16th/17th-century (re)conquest and colonisation of Ireland brought a large number of English and Lowland Scots people to parts of the island, especially the north.

Today, the island of Ireland consists of the Republic of Ireland (an independent state) and the smaller Northern Ireland (a part of the United Kingdom). People in Northern Ireland hold various national identities including British, Irish, Northern Irish or some combination thereof.

The Irish are renowned globally for their customs, language, music, dance, sports, cuisine, friendliness, large families and mythology. Although Irish (Gaelic/Gaeilge) was their main language in the past, today most Irish people speak English as their first language.

Historically, the Irish nation was made up of kin groups or clans, and the Irish also had their own religion, law code, alphabet and style of dress.

The population of Ireland is approximately 6.3 million, however, it’s estimated that 50 to 80 million people around the world have Irish forebears, making the Irish diaspora one of the biggest of any nation.

Over history, emigration from Ireland has been the result of conflict, famine and economic issues. People of Irish descent and as a result, Irish family names are found mainly in English-speaking countries, especially Great Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.

There are also significant numbers in Argentina, Mexico and New Zealand. The United States has the most people of Irish descent, while in Australia those of Irish descent are a higher percentage of the population than in any other country outside Ireland. Many Icelanders have Irish and Scottish Gaelic forebears. 

In these countries, you may find some difficult to pronounce Irish last names. You may also find some stereotypical Irish surnames.

As a result of the high numbers of Irish people all around the world, Irish last names can be found all over the world.

Tracing Your Irish Family Tree

You can find trace your Irish family tree by visiting an Irish Government supported website which is dedicated to helping you in your search for records of family history for past generations.

Full list:

RankNameGaelic EquivalentMeaning
 1 Murphyó Murchadhasea-battler
 2 Kelly ó Ceallaighbright-headed
 3 O’Sullivan ó Súilleabháin dark-eyed
 4 Walsh Breathnach  Welshman
 5 Smith  Mac Gabhann son of the smith
 6 O’Brien  ó Briain  high, noble
 7 Byrne  ó Broin  a raven
 8 Ryan  ó Maoilriain  king
 9 O’Connor ó Conchobhair patron of warriors
 10 O’Neill ó Néill from Niall of
the Nine Hostages
 11 O’Reilly ó Raghallaigh 
 12 Doyle  ó Dubhghaill  dark foreigner
 13 McCarthy Mac Carthaigh  loving person
 14 Gallagher ó Gallchobhair lover of foreigners
 15 O’Doherty ó Dochartaigh  hurtful
 16 Kennedy ó Cinnéide  helmet headed
 17 Lynch  ó Loinsigh  seafarer, exile
 18 Murray ó Muireadhaigh lord, master
 19 Quinn  ó Cuinn  wisdom, chief
 20 Moore  ó Mordha  majestic
 21 McLoughlin Mac Lochlainn viking
 22 O’Carroll ó Cearbhaill  valorous in battle
 23 Connolly ó Conghaile  fierce as a hound
 24 Daly  ó Dálaighassembles frequently
 25 O’Connell ó Conaill  strong as a wolf
 26 Wilson Mac Liam  son of William
 27 Dunne  ó Duinn  brown
 28 Brennan ó Braonáin  sorrow
 29 Burke  de Búrca  from Richard de Burgh
 30 Collins ó Coileáin  young warrior
 31 Campbell  crooked mouth
 32 Clarke  óCléirigh  clergyman
 33 Johnston Mac Seáin  son of John
 34 Hughes ó hAodha  fire
 35 O’Farrell ó Fearghail  man of valour
 36 Fitzgerald Mac Gearailt  spear rule
 37 Brown  Mac an Bhreithiún son of the brehon (judge)
 38 Martin Mac Giolla Mháirtín devotee of Saint Martin
 39 Maguire Mag Uidhir  dun-coloured
 40 Nolan  ó Nualláin  famous
 41 Flynn  ó Floinn  bright red
 42 Thompson Mac Tomáis  son of Thom
 43 O’Callaghan ó Ceallacháin  bright headed
 44 O’Donnell ó Domhnaill  world-mighty
 45 Duffy  ó Dufaigh  dark, black
 46 O’Mahony ó Mathúna  bear-calf
 47 Boyle  ó Baoill  vain pledge
 48 Healy  ó hÉalaighthe  artistic, scientific
 49 O’Shea ó Séaghdha  fine, stately
 50 White  Mac Giolla Bháin of fair complexion
 51 Sweeney Mac Suibhne  pleasant
 52 Hayes  ó hAodha  fire
 53 Kavanagh Caomhánach  comely, mild
 54 Power  de Paor  the poor man
 55 McGrath Mac Craith  son of grace
 56 Moran  ó Móráin  great
 57 Brady  Mac Brádaigh  spirited
 58 Stewart Stiobhard  one who superintends
 59 Casey  ó Cathasaigh  vigilant in war, watchful
 60 Foley  ó Foghladh  a plunderer
 61 Fitzpatrick Mac Giolla Phádraig devotee of Saint Patrick
 62 O’Leary ó Laoghaire  calf-herd
 63 McDonnell Mac Domhnaill world-mighty
 64 MacMahon Mac Mathúna  bear-calf
 65 Donnelly ó Donnghaile  brown valour
 66 Regan  ó Riagáin  little king
 67 Donovan ó Donnabháin  brown, black
 68 Burns  from Scottish Burness
 69 Flanagan ó Flannagáin  red, ruddy
 70 Mullan ó Maoláin  bald
 71 Barry  de Barra  Cambro-Norman name
 72 Kane  ó Catháin  battler
 73 Robinson   son of Robert
 74 Cunningham   Scottish name
 75 Griffin ó Gríofa  Welsh: Gruffudd
 76 Kenny  ó Cionaoith  fire sprung
 77 Sheehan O’Siodhachain  peaceful
 78 Ward  Mac an Bhaird son of the bard
 79 Whelan ó Faoláin  wolf
 80 Lyons  ó Laighin  grey
 81 Reid  red haired,
ruddy complexion
 82 Graham   grey home
 83 Higgins ó hUiginn 
 84 Cullen  ó Cuilinn  holly
 85 Keane  Mac Catháin 
 86 King  ó Cionga 
 87 Maher  Meagher  fine, majestic
 88 MacKenna Mac Cionaoith fire-sprung
 89 Bell  Mac Giolla Mhaoil 
 90 Scott  a Scottish gael
 91 Hogan  ó hÓgáin  young
 92 O’Keeffe ó Caoimh  gentle
 93 Magee  Mag Aoidh  fire
 94 MacNamara Mac Conmara  hound of the sea
 95 MacDonald Mac Dónaill  world-mighty
 96 MacDermott Mac Diarmada free from jealousy
 97 Molony ó Maolomhnaigh servant of the Church
 98 O’Rourke ó Ruairc 
 99 Buckley ó Buachalla  cow herd
 100 O’Dwyer ó Dubhuir  black