Irish Surnames D

A list of Irish surnames beginning with the letter D

Daly

Variants: Dawley O’Daly Daley

In Irish: Ó Dálaigh

Found in: Widespread

Origin: Gaelic

Very old name; means “present at assemblies” and has the same origin as “Dail”, which is the name for the Irish Parliament.

Dardis

In Irish: Dublin, Kildare, Meath

Origin: Norman

From the Norman d’Ardis

Delany

Variants: Delane, Delaney

In Irish: Ó Dubhshlaine

Found in: Widespread, Dublin, Laois

Origin: Gaelic

Means “of the black river Slaney”.

Dempsey

In Irish: Ó Diomasaigh

Found in: Laois, Offaly

Origin: Gaelic

Means “proud”.

Devine

Variant: Davin, Devane, Devin, Downes

In Irish: Ó Daimhin

Found in: Cavan, Dublin, Louth, Tyrone

Origin: Gaelic

Means “poet or storyteller”.

Devlin

In Irish: Ó Doibhlin

Found in: Sligo, Tyrone

Origin: Gaelic

Dillon

Found in: Widespread

Origin: Norman-French

Derived from “de Leon”

Doherty

Variant: Dougharty, Dougherty, MacDevitt, O’Dogherty.

In Irish: Ó Dochartaigh

Found in: Ulster

Origin: Gaelic

Means “obstructive”.

Dolan

Variant: Doolan, Dowling, Doelan, O’Doelan.

In Irish: Ó Dobhailen

Found in: Galway, Roscommon

Origin: Gaelic

Means “defiant”.

Donoghue

Variant: Donohue, Donohoe, O’Donoghue, O’Donagh, Donaghue, Dunphy

In Irish: Ó Donnchadha

Found in: Widespread

Origin: Gaelic

Means “Sons of Donogh”.

Doran

In Irish: Ó Deoradháin

Found in: Armagh, Down, Kerry, Laois, Wexford

Origin: Gaelic

Means “stranger”.

Dowling

In Irish: Ó Dunlaing

Found in: Carlow, Dublin, Kilkenny, Laois, Wicklow

Origin: Gaelic

Doyle

Variant: Doyelle, Doyley, MacDowell

In Irish: Ó Dubhghaill

Found in: Widespread, Wexford.

Origin: Irish name for Norse invaders

Means “dark or evil foreigner”

Driscoll

Variant: O’Driscoll

In Irish: Ó hEidersceoil,

Found in: Cork

Means ” interpreter”.

Duffy

Variant: Doohey, Dowey, Duhig, O’Duffy

In Irish: Ó Dubthaigh

Found in: Ulster, Monaghan Roscommon

Origin: Gaelic

Duggan

Variant: Doogan, Dougan

Found in: Cork, Donegal, Galway, Tipperary.

Origin: Gaelic

Means “black head (hair?)”

Dunne

Variant: O’Dunne, O’Doyne, Doine, Doin, O’Dunn and many more.

In Irish: Ó Duinn

Found in: Widespread, Laois

Origin: Gaelic

Means “brown”.

Article updated: March 31, 2017 | Image Credits

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13 Comments

  • Tadg says:

    Devine is Ó / Ua Daimhín which means ox or stag. Being a symbol of a hero, as far as I now. Damh -ox/stag. Dámh – poet . Please change

  • Helen Dougherty-Anthony says:

    Once again I would like any info about the Dockrays name
    who lived around the Ballymote area. My great
    grand father was born in or around Ballymote on December 1835. Was married in Canada on Jan 1850

  • Helen Dougherty-Anthony says:

    No, I am NOT a spammer?? I live in Ont. Canada. I was
    in Ireland 6 years ago & met what we believe is a cousin to my family, who lives in the Town of Ballymote. We believe that we may be related several generations back.
    I don’t know what information I gave you that I would be denoted as a spammer?

    • Katherine Nolan says:

      Hi Helen,

      We use a spam filter because if we didn’t there would be thousands of spam comments a day flooding in – totally impossible to manage. Occasionally someone legitimate is caught in the filter by accident, and that is what must have happened to you. My apologies.

  • Geoffrey Tobin says:

    The (O’)Driscolls are the most senior line of the chiefs of the Dairine (later called the Corcu Loigde), a well-attested Erainn people from whom the Scottish House of Dunkeld proudly claimed descent.  The Dairine are called Darini in Claudius Ptolemy’s atlas, the Geographia, and their name means the descendants of Daire Doimthech.
    Thomas Francis O’Rahilly thought that Daire had the earlier form Darios, and that it is related to the Gaulish name Dario.
    Daire Donn is the Irish name for Darius the Great, the Persian emperor whose invasion of Greece was defeated by Athens at Marathon in 490 BC.
    By the way, there’s a legend that the Gaels migrated to Ireland from Galicia in north-west Spain, according to which King Breogan of Galicia had built a tall tower, from which his son (fancifully) espied the beauty of the emerald isle.  On that site now stands the Farum Brigantium, or Tower of Hercules, an early 2nd century Roman lighthouse with Phoenician foundations, which is still in use, and it peculiarly shines its light toward Ireland.

  • richard dyas says:

    My family, named Dyas, came from Dublin. What is there origin there?

  • alison says:

    Seeking any leads on my hugeonot grandmother who had the family name Dowzard  which may have originally been D’Owzard  Born in dublin in 1889

  • Paul Dempsey says:

    Im a Dempsey staying in Scotland, and ive always wondered if my decendents came here due to the potato famine,or for other reasons.

  • Veronica Bowen says:

    My maternal Grandparents’ surnames were Durning and Trinity, both from Ireland via Wales and England respectively. I can’t find either name on a list of Irish surnames. Can you tell me anything about them? Thanx!!

  • sarah yee says:

    my grandmother was irish. her last name was Dorris. I’ve been told i take after the Dorris side of the family. i was wondering what part of irland her family came from.

    • Katherine says:

      I’ve never come across that name, but I’ll ask about it and see what I come up with.

  • James Dunning says:

    What can you tell me about Dunnings from Westmeath (Athlone) and Connacht (Roscommon)? 

    I have met some in Eire, and was told they derive from O’Duinin clan, but necessarily anglicized their name in order to maintain residence within the city or town limits of an English bailiwick during the time of the Penal Laws.

    I suspect my Dunning ancestor is most likely English, but through progressive intermarriage we are now more Irish than anything else (on BOTH sides), including so-called ‘Black Irish’ from Antrim, Spanish / Portuguese ancestry verified by DNA (!).  

    James (Seamus) Dunning

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