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Irish baby names have close links to other categories of baby names. They are strongly linked with Celtic baby names and also Gaelic baby names (Gaelic is the Irish for Irish). Irish baby names is often an umbrella term to include all the names under Celtic, Gaelic and Irish origin.

Like a lot of old names, Irish names tend to describe something or mean something. For example the Irish boys name Donnacha means "dark haired warrior" from the Gaelic "donn" meaning "brown" and "cath" meaning "battle". This is what it originally meant. The name became popular but the meaning wasnt really known that well.

Over time, pure Irish names became Anglicized. The popular Irish name Kevin comes from the Gaelic Caoimhin, and there is also a feminine version of the name Caoimhe.

One of the reasons Irish names are popular is that they do have a rich history and background. It is almost as if you are to continue the work performed by your historic namesake, or will inherit their help and approval just by taking their name.

Traditional Gaelic names such as Niamh (Beautiful, bright) and Cian (Ancient) are also becoming very popular again, not just in Ireland but also among the vast ex-pat Irish-American population and also in other areas of the world. But these names were not always so popular. At one time they were outlawed. The violent struggle between the English Protestant and the Catholic churches resulted in the disappearance of Gaelic names. This history seems to make those names even more popular now.

From ABC Baby names, which includes Irish Baby Names resources and popular names lists