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Irish names: The best celebrity imports for St. Patrick’s Day

March 15, 2012 Linda Rosenkrantz

Irish names have been making the trans-Atlantic crossing for centuries, beginning with easily assimilated ones like Patrick and Kathleen, Kevin and Brian and Ryan. But recently, thanks to a few high-profile celebs in both the entertainment and literary worlds, we’ve been introduced to some intriguingly authentic Irish names we hadn’t met up with before. Here, to commemorate  St. Paddy’s Day, are some of the best.

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Saoirse Ronan

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The pronunciation of the first name of this young actress, Saoirse, who first attracted attention with her extraordinary performance in Atonement, has posed some real problems for her U.S. admirers. As an explanation, she herself has said, “'Searsha' is how Irish people pronounce  my first name, but I would pronounce it 'Sersha,' like 'inertia'. It's "Irish language" Irish for 'freedom.”

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