Irish girl names have changed dramatically since the civil registration system was introduced in 1864. The top ten Irish female names for girls in 2013 show that only Sarah has survived the passing of 150-plus years. If you take a look at my research into Irish first names in 1864, you'll see that Sarah took the No.9 spot back then.
Perhaps the biggest change is that the parents of one third of all infant girls in Ireland no longer select Mary. One and a half centuries later, in 2013, there were just 79 instances of Mary being recorded as a first name among the 33,658 female births registered. Another significant feature of 21st-century lists of top Irish girl names is the appearance of so many traditional Irish names.
Examples include Aoife, Caoimhe, Eabha, Niamh and Roisin which were the options chosen for 1,228 little colleens born in 2013. However, it is noticable that Irish names have experienced a slight drop in popularity in the last few years. You can find out more about traditional Irish girl names and their meanings by following the links in the Related Pages box in the right-hand column. While the most popular Irish names for boys have continued to draw on the bible for inspiration, female Irish names do not. The influences are much more varied and much more exotic, suggesting that Irish parents are prepared to express their imagination when naming their daughters but prefer much more 'solid' and 'trusted' monikers for their sons.
The lists below show that the top Irish baby girl names in each of the regional authorites has changed in the last fifteen years. Aoife: by now you must have been convinced that Irish is a wonderful language from which you can dwell great inspiration for baby names. Ciara: according to our records, Ciara was the 4th most popular baby name in Ireland in 2003. Orla: if you find Irish baby names lovely but you are concious of the various pronunciation issues that they might involve, you can always go for Orla which is the simplified version of Orlaith. Sadhbh: an almost impossible to pronunciate for non native Irish speakers, this traditional Irish girl name means good and sweet. Enter your email address to receive new posts full of baby names ideas grouped into meaningful and fun lists to help you make up your mind and understand each name meaning and origin! Aideenay-DEENFormed like Aidan from aed "fire." Aideen loved her husband Oscar, a grandson of Fionn Mac Cool, so much that when he fell in battle she died of a broken heart. Aine AWN-yuhEnya, Anna, HannahFrom the Old Irish aine, meaning 'brilliance, wit, splendor, glory, radiance'. Alanaah-LAH-na Alanna, AlainaAnglo-Irish term of endearment alannah, meaning 'attractive, fair, peaceful' and the Gaelic a leanbh, meaning "O child, or "darling child".
CassidyFrom cas "curly-haired." The Cassidys were the hereditary physicians to the Maguires, the chiefs of County Fermanagh between 1300 and 1600. ClionaKLEE-a-naAccording to Old Irish legends, Clidna was the name of one of the three beautiful daughters of the poet Manannan mac Lir. Colleencol-EENColleenFrom the Irish cailin meaning "girl" and used by the Irish in the USA and Australia as a way of connecting to their Irish roots. DeirdreDEER-druhThe most beautiful woman in ancient Ireland, she was bethrothed to the High King Conchobhar Mac Nessa but she fell in love with his nephew Naoise.
Darcy, D'ArcyDARCYDarcyIn Irish dorcha means "dark, dark-haired" or "descendant of the dark one." Both a surname and a given name. Dearbhail, Dearbhaldare-VOLLDervla From der + fal "daughter of Fal," "Fal" being an ancient name for Ireland.
Celebrities might be hard at work finding obscure words to name their children after, but in Northern Ireland it would appear that we’re slightly more traditional when it comes to choosing baby names.
According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the likes of Apple and Blue Ivy didn’t quite make the top ten most popular baby names. Jack holds onto the title of most popular name for baby boys in Northern Ireland for the tenth year running.
This year Jacob and Thomas have increased in popularity to reach the top 10 from ranks 13 and 14 respectively.

In the top 100 boys’ names, Jackson has risen 50 places from rank 132 in 2012 to rank 82, while Theo has risen from rank 142 to 92. The top three girls names remained the same, but there was a slight shift in popularity, with Grace moving from third place in 2012, to first place in 2013. Ava and Ruby are new entries to the girls’ top 20 in 2013, rising 13 places and two places respectively to ranks 13 and 20.
Looking further down within the top 100, Elsie has risen 60 places to rank 93 in 2013, from rank 153 in 2012 and Robyn has risen 45 places to rank 82 from rank 127 in 2012. The greatest falls out of the 2012 top 100 were Shannon, down from rank 96 to rank 143 and Elizabeth, down from rank 74 to rank 106.
Still, she's had a good innings and will probably be recognised as THE Irish girl name for many years to come. The same five names mentioned above were selected by 1,607 parents in 2008, so they've seen a 23 percent drop in the last five years. Some 4,643 different names appear in the list of Irish girl names for 2013; boys's names total 3,628. Only the Western region (counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon) and Southeast (counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford), where Emma was the most popular name, and the Borders region (counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo), where Sophia was preferred, were out of line with the majority verdict. If you are looking for a radiant and pleasant Irish girl name, check the list we have prepared for you. This is a false concept based on the misbelief that the so called Irish Luck is linked to prosperity, love and money.
The concept of vision that Aisling holds was the reason why this name became a favorite among poets who were narrating a distinct patriotic-romantic style poetry. If not, meet Aoife which, once again, is one of these Irish girl names that means radiant beauty.
Due to being one of the most popular Irish baby names for the past few decades, the name has sadly being overused and is now considered a passe choice for parents.
A fountain of positive vibes, Caoimhe is an all time favorite for parents who love being optimistic and confident.
The reason is simple, Niamh’s meaning is simple and straightforward as the sun light: bright! Other names that sound like Saoirse and qualify as worthy contenders of your baby girl’s name is Sorcha, which means radiance.
In a tale of apprenticeship of the Ulster hero Cu Chulainn, Aife was the fiercest woman warrior in the world. Origin is uncertain, but it is probably derived from brig, meaning 'high, noble'; might mean 'strong' and be a variant of Brighid. The most famous female saint of Ireland is Brigid, who was abbess of Kildare, previously the site of the shrine of a pagan goddess of the same name. Bronagh must have been a popular figure in her home area of County Down where her bell is venerated because so many girls in that area are named for her now as they have been for over 1000 years. As their healing skills became widely known, many Cassidys were employed by other chieftans, particularly in the north of the country. Ciara was a distinguished seventh-century figure who established a monastery at Kilkeary in County Tipperary.
James retained second position for the third year in a row and Charlie came in third place, up from fifth in 2012. Luke was the largest mover within the boys’ top 20, rising from rank 27 in 2012 to rank 19. The greatest drops from the 2012 top 100 were Corey, down 66 places to rank 105 in 2013, and Reece, down 65 places to rank 155. This split between the two spellings may be enough to see the name slip out of the top 10 in the future.
These numbers count different spellings as different names ie Caitlin is counted as a distinct name from Katelyn.
Aisling was attributed in these cases as mother Ireland herself, who also happened to be a stunning woman. The pronunciation is Ee-fa and in case you are wondering, it has the same root as the English equivalents of Eva or Ava.

It has been so much loved by mums and dads around the world that even its other forms, such as Katelyn have been a safe choice for countless baby girls.
A true fighter and an excellent choice for mums that inspire to see their daughter grow up to be dynamic women who are not afraid to speak up! Singer Sinead O’Connor, the voice behind the classic baladd Nothing Compare to You, is probably the best known bearer of this name helping it to earn some extra popularity in the Western world. Let us know what you think, we value your feedback as the most important thing and we continuously update our records to reflect your own recommendations!
According to Irish legend, Aine was the daughter of Fer I (Man of the Yew) and queen of the fairies of South Munster. According to myth, there were three sister goddesses of the Tuatha De Danaan named Brigid: the goddess of poetry, the goddess of healing, and the goddess of smith work. Revered for her courage and purity, Catherine in the Irish form, Cathleen, became such a popular name that W. Francis of Assisi, who left her wealthy family to found the order of nuns known as the "Poor Clares," has always been very respected in Ireland and the name is still popular today. By offering forgiveness, Conchobhar tricked them into returning to Ulster where Naoise was slain by the jealous Conchobhar.
Ella was the highest climbing girl’s name, reaching fourth place, up from 13 in 2012 and in fifth place was Lucy. It’s about endouring difficulties, and being able to smile and laugh even in the worst possible situation. This makes the following Irish baby names ideal not only for parents with Irish roots, but for everyone who wishes to see their baby girl growing up with the highest ideals.
Aine is a common character in many Irish folk stories as the luckiest lady ever (in both prosperity and in love).
If you study carefuly the Irish literature, you will find many references to Aoife as the fearless heroine. Watch out for Saoirse Ronan, the rising star who secured a role in the next installment of the Star Wars saga (Episode 7).
Aoife Dearg ("Red Aoife") was a daughter of a king of Connacht who had her marriage arranged by St. Revered for her courage and purity, Cathleen, became such a popular Irish girl name that W. In the tale of "Clidna's Wave" she falls in love with a mortal, "Keevan of the Curling Locks," and leaves Tir-na-n'Og ("Land of Eternal Youth") with him. Deirdre threw herself from Conchobhar's chariot rather than live with the man who had caused Naoise's death. Anya is probably known better outside Ireland, while the Christian Brits where eager to transform this traditional Irish baby name into simply Ann. The Celtic goddess, Brigid made the land fruitful and the animals multiply, she blessed poets and blacksmiths.
Yeats chose it for the heroine of his 1899 play "The Countess Cathleen" which was inspired by an Irish folktale. But when he goes off to hunt, leaving her on the beach, she is swept to sea by a great wave, leaving her lover desolate.
The origin of this saying comes from the special endourance that the Irish people showed when they were facing the potato famine in the 17th century. The stories of Saint Brigid's compassion and miracles are told now as they have been for more than 1500 years in every part of Ireland. In a time of famine the Devil offers food to the starving poor in exchange for their souls. The yew trees grew toward one another till their branches intertwined, joining the two lovers even after death. Saint Brigid's feast day is February 1, or Imbolc in the old Celtic calendar, and it is the first day of Spring in the Celtic calender.

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