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Ireland holds on to its roots

Traditional names give way to Jack and Emily but remain prominent

Jack and Emily are the overall most popular names for baby boys and girls across both the UK and Ireland. The latest figures from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office show that parents in all five nations are making similar choices with Jack at number one or two everywhere. Emily tops the chart in both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland and Scotland while she takes third place in England and Wales. 

The Irish list shows that there is still a strong showing for traditional names often from Gaelic that do not appear in England’s top 100.

Most popular Irish name for girls is Aoife at number 13 with Saoirse, Caoimhe, Roisin and Fiadh all in the top 40. Non-Irish people may need a bit of help with pronunciation here.

Aoife (ee-fa) means beautiful

Saoirse – (seer-she) means freedom

Caoimhe (kee-va) means gentle, precious

Roisin (ro-sheen) means little rose

Fiadh (fee-a) derived from the Irish word for wild deer


Ireland’s boys are led by Oisin at 12 and Cian at 14 with Fionn, Darragh and Tadhg all inside the top 40.

Oisin (osh-een) legendary poet and warrior

Cian (key-in) means enduring

Fionn (fin) fair-headed warrior

Darragh (di-re) means fruitful and goes far back into Irish legend

Tadhg (ti-ge, like tiger without the er) a Gaelic name also found in Scotland meaning poet or philosopher.



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