Did your Irish surname top the list of the most popular family names in Ireland? 

The surname Murphy is still number one in Ireland—even after more than 100 years—followed closely by Kelly and O'Brien. The top Irish surname results come from the most recent figures by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), who compiled the data from the baby's names registered in 2020.

The CSO found that in 2020, of the 55,958  births registered, 602 babies were named Murphy, 523 under Kelly, and 467 under O'Brien.

Also in the top ten were Ryan, O'Brien, Walsh, O'Sullivan, O'Connor, Doyle, and McCarthy.

According to the CSO, the most popular name in 2020 for newborn boys in Ireland was Jack and for girls it was Grace.

Jack has held the top spot since 2007 with the exception of 2016 when James was the most popular name. This is the first time that Grace has taken the number one spot, climbing from second place in 2018 and 2019. Emily had been the most popular name for baby girls since 2011 prior to this year.

Irish Babies' Names 2020

Irish Babies' Names 2020

Here are the top 10 family names in Ireland:


Murphy is one of the most common surnames in Ireland, with origins in the Gaelic name "Ó Murchadha," meaning "descendant of the sea warrior." It is widespread both in Ireland and among Irish diaspora communities worldwide.


Kelly is a popular Irish surname derived from the Gaelic name "Ó Ceallaigh," meaning "descendant of Ceallach," which itself can be translated to "bright-headed" or "warrior." The name is well-known globally and often associated with Irish heritage.


O'Brien is a prominent Irish surname with roots in the Gaelic "Ó Briain," signifying "descendant of Brian." Brian Boru, a famous High King of Ireland, contributed to the popularity of this name. O'Brien is particularly associated with County Clare.


Ryan is an Irish surname that originated from the Gaelic name "Ó Riain," meaning "descendant of Rian." It is a widely recognized Irish name and has become common among Irish Americans.


Byrne is an Irish surname that comes from the Gaelic "Ó Broin," denoting "descendant of Bran," with "Bran" referring to a raven or crow. The name has a long history in Ireland and is still prevalent today.


O'Connor, derived from "Ó Conchobhair" in Gaelic, signifies "descendant of Conchobhar," which means "lover of hounds." The O'Connors were a significant Irish clan historically and played a role in Ireland's history.


Walsh is an Irish surname that originated from the Gaelic "Breathnach," meaning "Breton" or "Welshman." It was used to denote people from foreign origins, and the name has become widespread in Ireland.


O'Sullivan, derived from "Ó Súilleabháin" in Gaelic, translates to "descendant of Súilleabhán," where "Súilleabhán" means "dark-eyed." The O'Sullivans have a notable presence in County Kerry.


McCarthy is an Irish surname with Gaelic roots in "Mac Cárthaigh," signifying "son of Cárthach." The McCarthy clan was a powerful family in Munster, particularly in County Cork, and their name remains well-known.


Doyle is an Irish surname that comes from the Gaelic "Ó Dubhghaill," meaning "descendant of Dubhghall," which can be interpreted as "dark stranger" or "foreigner." The name has a history in Ireland and is also common among Irish Americans.

 * Originally published in 2016, updated in Sept 2023.