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Irish Surname - Kearney

The Irish surname Kearney is of ancient Gaelic origin, deriving from the Irish Ó Catharnaigh, meaning "descendant of Catharnach." This personal name, Catharnach, signifies "warrior" or "fighter," highlighting the clan's traditional role in Gaelic society. The surname Kearney is traditionally associated with the province of Leinster, particularly in the counties of Offaly and Tipperary, though it has spread throughout Ireland and across the world, especially to the United States, Australia, and Canada. Over the centuries, various spellings and variations of the surname have emerged, reflecting the changes in language and the influence of other cultures.

While the exact origins are debated, there's evidence of at least four distinct Kearney families in Ireland. The surname is found throughout the country, with no single concentrated area. However, the alternative spelling Carney is more prevalent in Connacht, particularly County Mayo.

Unfortunately, reliable statistics on the prevalence of the Kearney surname are difficult to find. However, its presence across Ireland and its dispersion throughout the diaspora suggest a widespread and enduring family lineage.

Interesting People with the Surname Kearney