New Popular Irish Names Revealed

New Popular Irish Names Revealed

Good news for lovers of Irish baby names! The latest popular Irish names data for 2023 has recently been released, and it’s a treasure trove of intriguing options from the Emerald Isle.

Happy St Patrick’s Day! Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!

Top 10 Irish Girl Names

This year has seen the return of Grace to the #1 spot. Grace was previously the top girl name in 2020, before being ousted by Fiadh in 2021, then Emily in 2022. Both of these names remain in Ireland's Top 3 girl names. Will Grace remain on top for longer this time, or will the nation's favorite names keep rotating?

The Top 5 is completed by Sophie and Lily, which remain in the same positions as last year.

Ella returned to the Top 10 in 2023, having dipped into the teens the year before. In fact, it has been in and out of the Top 10 several times in the last two decades, ranking as high as #3, and as low as #18. Amelia also returned to the Top 10 after two years out of it.

They replace Ava and Olivia, which dropped out of the Top 10.

Here are the new Top 10 girl names in Ireland for 2023:

1. Grace (+1)

2. Fiadh (+1)

3. Emily (-2)

4. Sophie (=)

5. Lily (=)

6. Ellie (+3)

7. Mia (+1)

8. Amelia (+3)

9. Éabha (-3)

10. Ella (+4)

Top 10 Irish Boy Names

The boys' Top 10 names were remarkably stable, with only two names changing position. Jack remains the most popular boy name for the seventh year in a row, followed by Noah, James, and Rían. Pronounced REE-an, this is a more authentically Irish form of ultra-popular Ryan, which first entered the Top 100 in 2004 and has been climbing ever since.

The only new entrant to the boys' Top 10 is Fionn (FEE-on or fee-ON), which rose five spots to #6. A traditional name meaning "white", "fair", or "blessed", anglicized as Finn, it returns to the Top 10 after three years away.

Fionn replaced Charlie, the only boy name to drop out of the Top 10 this year. Charles also fell dramatically in popularity in 2023: it looks like parents are trying to avoid giving their sons the name of the UK's new king.

1. Jack (=)

2. Noah (=)

3. James (=)

4. Rían (=)

5. Oisín (+1)

6. Fionn (+5)

7. Tadgh (=)

8. Liam (=)

9. Cillian (=)

10. Daniel (=)

Fastest Rising Irish Names

In this year’s fastest risers we have a mixture of names from the Irish language, favorites across the British Isles, and some surprising comebacks.

The fastest-rising girl name was Síofra (SHEEF-ra), a word name meaning "changeling" that has been used since the 1970s. It has ranked steadily in the 100s for several years, but this year leapt up 57 spots to #100.u

Éala, the fastest-climbing name in 2022, rose steeply again in 2023. It has become popular in the last few years as an Irish alternative to Ella (it is pronounced more or less the same), with a similar sound to Top 10 girl name Éabha.

Other girl names climbing the ranks swiftly include Lucia, Lottie, and Zara. Zara has zigzagged a lot in recent years: it was among the fastest-falling names in 2022, but was a fast riser in 2021. Whether there is any connection to the fast-fashion brand or the British royal family is hard to say.

The fastest-rising boy name was Caelan, which jumped up 54 spots to #50. Pronounced KEE-lan or KAY-lan, we can see this name appealing to parents beyond Ireland.

Traditional Irish names Ruarí and Eoin also rose significantly, as did Arlo, which is also climbing the ranks in the UK. Mark made a surprise comeback, returning to the Top 100 after two years out of it.

Fastest Rising Girl Names

Names are listed together with the number of places they rose on the charts since 2022.

1. Síofra (+57)

2. Lucia (+43)

3. Éala (+38)

4. Lottie (+36)

5. Zara (+31)

Fastest Rising Boy Names

1. Caelan (+54)

2. Mark (+46)

3. Ruairí (+41)

4. Eoin (+37)

5. Arlo (+31)

Fastest Falling Irish Names

The fastest-falling names from the Top 100 include fading classics like Mary and Elizabeth, as well as trending as trending names of the 1990s and early 200s, like Jessica and Leon, that are gradually on their way down.

On the boys' side, there are also several names that have been popular up to now, like Tadhg and Tiernan, which may have just passed their peak.

Fastest Falling Girl Names

1. Mary (-43)

2. Jessica (-41)

3. Elizabeth (-34)

4. Alannah (-24)

5. Ciara (-21)

Fastest Falling Boy Names

1. Tadhg (-43)

2. Kayden (-40)

3. Tiernan (-31)

4. Senan (-24)

5. Leon (-21)

Top Names of Irish Origin

There's an interesting spread in the Top 10 names of Irish origin. Some are so widely popular internationally that they barely register as Irish, like Conor, Seán, Cara and Erin

Some are rising in popularity elsewhere in the world and bringing more attention to Irish names, like Finn and Saoirse. And some might still seem strange to non-Irish people, like Oisín (aw-SHEEN) and and Croía (KREE-a).  

You have to look much further down the girls’ rankings to find the Top 10 Irish names than for boys, but that’s partly because a much broader range of Irish girls' names spreads out the numbers.

Here are the most popular girl and boy names of Irish origin, together with their rankings.

Top Girl Names of Irish Origin

1. Fiadh (2)

2. Éabha (=8)

3. Croía (=23)

4. Caoimhe (26)

5. Saoirse (=27)

6. Cara (=27)

7. Aoife (31)

8. Róisín (36)

9. Erin (=40)

10. Sadhbh (=40)

Top Boy Names of Irish Origin

1. Rían (4)

2. Oisín (5)

3. Fionn (6)

4. Tadgh (7)

5. Liam (8)

6. Cillian (9)

7. Finn (11)

8. Conor (12)

9. Seán (14)

10. Darragh (26)

Hottest Irish Name Trends

Mid-Century Nicknames

Mid-century nicknames are coming back in a big way with Annie, Billy, Bobby, Elsie, Molly, Penny, Rosie and Tommy all landing in the Top 100.

A lot of these names are also popular in England and Wales, so it’s interesting to see which names aren’t as popular. Names like Paddy, Nellie and Frank were very common in Ireland a hundred years ago, though almost always those people had Patrick, Ellen and Francis on their birth certificate. 

There are also names like Barry and Hughie which have historical links to Irish names. Barry originates from Barra, a nickname for Finbarr. Hughie comes from a tradition of anglicization, the historically very popular name Aodh or Áed was anglicised to Hugh (there are a lot of Hugh O’Neill’s in Irish history).

Interestingly, though Hugh is nicknamed to Hughie, Aodh would be nicknamed to Aodhán from which we get Aiden et al. 

Irish Nicknames

One very interesting trend in recent years is the rising popularity of Irish language nicknames, whether they’re gaelicisations of English nicknames like Aoibhí (Evie) and Teidí (Teddy) or nicknames of Irish classic Irish names themselves.

Cáit gained some notice in the Oscar-Nominated Irish language film An Cailín Ciuin (The Quiet Girl). The similar Caitlín is the name that spawned not only the classic Kathleen, but also every variant of Caitlyn

Another trend in the world of Irish nicknaming is the return of Óg on the birth certificate. Óg is essentially the Irish equivalent of Jr but it goes directly after the first name, literally meaning ‘young’, making Liam Óg ‘young Liam’.

In the 2021 chart only Seán Óg ranked; in 2022 he was joined by Dónal and Liam, and this year Michael and Tomás also join the ranks. The nickname Ógie might be in itself something akin to naming a child Junior.

Rare Names in Ireland 2023

The Irish charts list every name given to three or more children born in every given year. To give a broader idea of names being used, here are some interesting names given to only three children last year.

Source: Central Statistics Office

This article is adapted from an original post by Bridie Farrell.


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About the Author

Clare Green

Clare Green

Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at