How To Name Your Baby With The Luck Of The Irish Located between the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, lies Europe's 3rd largest island. The island, Ireland, is politically divided into two distinct territories, The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Approximately 6.4 million people live on the 28th largest island on the planet, 4.6 million in the Republic of Ireland and about 1.8 million in Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland, a state, constitutes the majority (83 %) of the island whose official name is Ireland. The northeastern remaining portion of the island, Northern Ireland, is a part of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland). Within Northern Ireland, there are additional factions which hold opposite political agendas in regards to the future of the UK constituent. The Republicans and Nationalists seek to unite Ireland as a whole, while the Loyalists & Unionists prefer for Northern Ireland to remain as it is, a member of the UK. The disparate political and religious groups have motivated the bloody civil war which has long been a source for social unrest in Belfast and remains so today. Ireland's name is derived from the combined Irish name Ériu, Éire and Germanic element land. The Goidelic language of Ireland is Irish, commonly referred to as Irish Gaelic or Gaelic. Irish Names A complete Irish name typically includes 3 names: given, middle, and a family (surname). Many modern Irish individuals have both an Irish name and an adapted English name, such as Máíre Pádraigin Mhic Ghiolla Íosa, Ireland's President whose English name is Mary Patricia McAleese. First (Given) Names Given names used in Ireland are commonly Gaelic in origin derived from Ancient Celtic names and saintly names. Kevin is a commonly used Anglicized boy name in Europe, America, Germany and Scandinavia. Taken from the Irish name Caoimhín derived from an older dithematicIrish name, Cóemgein which is composed of the following elements: (1) cóem = gentle, kind and handsome & (2) gein = birth. Historically founded, St.Caoimhínis Dublin's patron saint who established a monastery in the 6th century in Glendalough. European names are also commonly used with Irish spellings or in Anglicized forms. For instance, Diarmaid in Irish has the meaning “without envy”. According to Irish mythology, he was the warrior lover of Gráinne. Many ancient Irish kings bore the name. Diarmaid Anglicized form is Dermot. The feminine name Bridget popular in America, England and Ireland, is the Anglicized form of Brighid (Irish meaning 'exalted one'). One of Ireland's female patron saints who founded the Kildarean monastery bore a variant of the name in the 5th century, Saint Brigid. Considered sacred in Ireland, the saintly name wasn't used in Ireland until the 1800's. Another form, Brigitta, gained popularity in Europe during the 14th century through the saintly designation in Sweden of Saint Brigitta, who became a European patron saint. Diminutives Common To Irish Names Shortened or affectionate forms of given names are called diminutives. These abbreviated pet names are typically used by family or close friends. Suffix diminutives are endings added on to these shortened forms and are readily associated with particular name origins. A common diminutive found in many Irish names such as Máírín and Kevin, and Ryan, is -in. Another suffix diminutive -an, is typical in Irish names, such as Aidan and Ryan. Odhran meaning “pale little green one” is the combined masculine name taken from the Irish odhra “pale green, sallow” and a diminutive suffix. This was also a saintly name of Saint Columba companion which traveled with him through Scotland. American Irish Kennedy is derived from the Irish Ó Cinnéide meaning “rough headed” or “ugly headed”. Ireland's king, Brian Boru, had a nephew, the original Kennedy name holder who killed himself after defeating the Norse in 1014 at the Battle of Clontarf. The original Kennedy homeland is located in N. Tipperary, south of Wexford, and east of Clare. The most famous person bearing this family name was U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, JFK, (1917-1963). JFK's Dunganstown homestead is still a popular tourist stop today. Irish Family Names The genealogy which traces back through the family name or last name for the Irish is often a path revealing interesting associations and historical relevance for other countries. Some Irish family names include: Blake, Browne, Butler, Burke Clarke, Carroll, Connolly, Collins Dillon, Doyle, Doherty, Duffy, Daly Fitzgerald Guinness Hennessy, Healy, Higgins Joyce Kennedy, Keane Lynch MacDermot, MacSween, MacMahon Martin, Malone, McGrath, McCarthy, McKenna Murphy Nugent, Nolan O'Brien, O'Connell, O'Conor, O'Donovan, O'Donnell, O'Kelly, O'Keefe, O'Neill, O'Reilly Ryan, Power, Roche Sheridan, Sullivan Walsh Below are given names which have consistently ranked high in Northern Ireland for last 5 years: Boys: Jack, Sean, Daniel, James, Conor, Ryan, Adam, Alex, Luke, Dylan, Jamie, Michael, & Aaron Girls: Sophie, Emily, Emma, Ellie, Sarah, Lucy, Ava, Grace, Chloe, Katie, and Aoife