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Irish Surname - Casey

The early gaelic form of the name Casey is O'Cathasaigh, from the word cathasaigh, which means vigilant or watchful. It can be assumed this name was bestowed on a warrior family and as such the name evolved independently in a number of places in Ireland.

O'Cathasaigh developed as a surname in at least five separate areas in countries Cork, Dublin, Fermanagh, Limerick and Mayo while MacCathasaigh was a surname more associated with the Louth/Monaghan area.

In early times, there were six unrelated septs of O'Castasaigh; the two most important were the lords of the Suaithni, in the present-day barony of Balrothery West, in County Dublin, and the erenagh (church steward) families of Devenish in county Fermanagh. The other four septs were found in Liscannon in County Limerick; Mitchelstown in county Cork; Clondara in county Roscommon; and Tirawley in county Mayo, where two Casey septs were located. The Caseys of Mayo and Roscommon were notable as erenaghs, like those in Fermanagh.

Archaeological remains tell us that Caseys were also found near Waterford, also in Munster. Furthermore MacCasey was once located at Oriel and was common in county Monaghan. Due to the widespread dropping of Irish prefixes under British rule and their often-misleading resumption in the 20th century, many MacCaseys are incorrectly thought to be O'Caseys.

The Casey surname is widely scattered in Ireland today, it is quite common in the county of Dublin and in north Connacht, as well as south-west Munster in counties Cork, Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary.

Family Crest

A hand issuing from a cloud holding a Garb (sheaf of wheat).

Motto

Per Varios Casus - Translation: Through many difficulties

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