Before the young Irish actress Saoirse Ronan made her mark in the films Atonement and The Lovely Bones, few of us had heard this name, let alone known how to pronounce it. (She says it rhymes with inertia -- but only in the US. In Ireland she pronounces it the way most Irish people do, as SEER-sha.) But now it is slowly way edging its way into the mainstream, particularly, of course, with parents who have Irish roots.
Saoirse has been a popular name in Ireland since it began to be used in the 1920s revolution as a statement of freedom,. It now ranks at Number 19.
Another related name Is Sorcha, pronounced SURK-ha and meaning "radiance": in the film Willow, the character's name is spelled Sorsha--another way to pronounce it.