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14 Unique Irish baby names for a little boy

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Xavier Yanayaco | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/12/24

With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner, here's a collection of Irish names perfect for a Catholic newborn.

In a few days millions of people will be celebrating St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. While Patrick — or Padraig in its Gaelic form — is a popular choice for many baby boys from the Emerald Isle and beyond, there are a myriad of other Irish saints who could inspire you in naming your own baby.

Here are 14 beautiful and often unique Irish names for a baby boy that are steeped in history and belonged to some very worthy saints. We’ve included their Gaelic pronunciations and links to the correct pronunciation for the trickier monikers in the selection.

Aidan

(AID-en) — This timeless name means “little fire” and is associated with St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, a revered Irish saint known for his missionary work and devotion to spreading Christianity.

Ciarán

(KEER-awn) — Meaning “dark-haired” or “black,” Ciarán is a classic Irish name with deep ties to Christianity. St. Ciarán of Clonmacnoise is a beloved Irish saint known for his piety and founding of monasteries.

Finnian

(FIN-ee-an) — Derived from the Irish word “fionn,” meaning “fair” or “white,” Finnian is associated with St. Finnian of Clonard, a renowned Irish abbot and scholar who played a significant role in spreading Christianity in Ireland.

Declan

(DEK-lan) — This name means “man of prayer” or “full of goodness.” St. Declan of Ardmore was an early Irish saint who is believed to have been a missionary and bishop, contributing to the growth of Christianity in Ireland.

Brendan

(BREN-dan) — Brendan is derived from the Irish name “Breandán,” meaning “prince” or “brave.” St. Brendan the Navigator is a legendary figure in Irish Christianity, known for his adventurous spirit and missionary journeys.

Conall

(KON-uhl) — Meaning “strong wolf” or “high and mighty,” Conall is rooted in Irish mythology and history. It also carries Christian significance, as St. Conall of Inishkeel was an early Irish saint known for his asceticism and piety.

Ronan

(ROE-nan) — Derived from the Irish word “rón,” meaning “seal,” Ronan is associated with St. Ronan of Locronan, a legendary Irish saint known for his miraculous deeds and devotion to God.

Tadhg

(TYEG)Pronounced like “tiger” without a strong “r.” Tadhg means “poet” or “philosopher.” Although the name has pagan origins, it has been embraced by Irish Catholics over the centuries. St. Tadhg of Munster, a 7th-century bishop, is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church.

Seamus

(SHAY-mus) — This traditional Irish name is the Gaelic form of James, meaning “supplanter” or “one who follows.” St. James the Greater, one of the 12 apostles, is a prominent figure in Catholicism, adding significance to the name Seamus.

Cillian

(KIL-ee-an) — Meaning “bright-headed” or “warrior,” Cillian is a strong and ancient Irish name with Christian roots. St. Cillian of Cologne was an Irish missionary and martyr, revered for his dedication to spreading the faith. And of course, it is the name belonging to the new Oscar winner, Irish actor Cillian Murphy.

Colm

(KOL-um) — Derived from the Irish word “colm,” meaning “dove,” Colm is a gentle and peaceful name, symbolizing purity and spirituality. It’s a fitting choice for a Catholic baby boy, reflecting the Holy Spirit and Christian virtues.

Fiachra

(FEE-uh-krah)— Meaning “raven” or “battle king,” Fiachra is an ancient Irish name associated with St. Fiachra, an Irish hermit and healer who is revered as a saint in Catholicism.

Eoin

(OH-in)— This classic Irish name is one Gaelic form of John (Sean being another), meaning “God is gracious.” St. John the Apostle is one of the most revered figures in Catholicism, making Eoin a fitting choice for a Catholic baby boy.

Ailbhe

(AL-vuh)— Meaning “white” or “bright,” Ailbhe is an ancient Irish name with Christian associations. St. Ailbhe of Emly was an early Irish bishop and saint known for his holiness and miracles, making this name a beautiful choice for a Catholic baby boy.


These names not only have beautiful meanings and historical significance, but also resonate deeply with Catholic tradition and values, making them wonderful choices for your little one’s journey in faith and life.

Tags:
Baby namesCatholic LifestyleIrelandSaints
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