Since first publication 20 years ago, there has been both change and stability among favourite Irish names for children. This book lists and glosses more than 200 of the most popular Irish names for boys and girls. It gives a short, authoritative commentary on each headline name, offers a complete list of alternative spellings and anglicised forms, and contains notes on the origins of each name with particular reference to the original holders. It is comprehensively indexed and cross-referenced.
The stability in the names arises from the fact that the 200 odd favourite names of 20 years ago are still in place. What has changed, however, is the pecking order within the overall list. Forenames of formerly Irish origin have advanced in recent times at the expense of names of English origin, so that, for instance, Seán, Connor and Cian are among the top 5 boys’ names while all top 5 girls’ names are purely Irish: Aoife, Ciara, Saoirse, Caoimhe and Niamh.
The late Laurence Flanagan was a freelance writer and a former Keeper of Antiquities at The Ulster Museum. He is an author of Favourite Irish Names for Children, Favourite Irish Names for Your Baby and Irish Place Names.