A list of Irish surnames beginning with the letters K and L, from Kavanagh to Lyons.
Variants: Cavanagh, MacMurrough
In Irish: Ó Caomhánach
Found in: Widespread
Descendants of Diarmuid MacMurrough, a 12th centurt. King of Leinster.
Variants: Kane, O’Cahan, MacCloskey
In Irish: Ó Cathain, Ó Cahain, Ó Céin
Found in: Munster, Ulster, West Clare
Derives from the personal name Cian. The different Irish versions are different families – “Cathain” from West Clare, “Céin” from Munster and “Cahain” from Ulster.
Found in: Wexford, Kilkenny, Waterford
Found in: Welsh-Norman
The same as the Welsh surname Cethyn
In Irish: Ó Céileachair
Found in: Clare, Cork, Kerry
Derived from the Irish for “loving spouse”.
In Irish: Ó Ceallaigh
Found in: Galway, Roscommon Widespread
Derived from Ceallach, who was a 9th century chieftain. Said to mean “war”.
In Irish: Ó Cinneide
Found in: Clare, Kilkenny, Tipperary
“Cinn” means “head” and “Éidig” means “ugly” – do the name literally means “ugly head”. Said to be descendents of Dunchad, who was Brian Boru’s brother. Presumably he was no
Variants: Kehoe, Hoey, Haughey, MacKehoe
In Irish: Eochaidh, MacEochaidh
Found in: Wexford, widespread.
English name is a mispronounced Anglicisation of the original Irish.
Variants: Cloran, Killoren, Killaurin
In Irish: Mac Giolla Luairinn
Found in: Sligo
Means “servant of Saint Luairean (Lorcan)”.
In Irish: Ó Cinnsealach
Found in: Wexford, Wicklow
In Irish: Ó Ciardubháin
Found in: Galway, Louth
“Dubhain” meand “black” which probably refers to a dark person from Spain. The Kinsellas were one of the tribes of Galway.
Variants: Lacey, de Lacy
In Irish: de Léis
Originally came from Lascy in Normandy, France.
In Irish: O Leathlobhair
Found in: Laois
Name literally translates as “half-leper”.
In Irish: O Laoidhigh Mac an Leagha
Found in: Cork, Galway, Limerick, Tipperary.
Means “son of the physician”.
Variants: Leonard, Lannon, Linnane
In Irish: Ó Leannáin
Found in: Fermanagh, Galway, Mayo
Variants: O Loughlin, MacLoughlin, MacLaughlin
In Irish: Ó Lochlainn
Found in: Clare, Derry, Kildare
From a Norse personal name
Found in: Cork
From de Lucy
In Irish: Ó Loingsigh,
Found in: Clare, Limerick, Sligo. Very widespread.
Two main families.1. de Lynch, of Norman origin; 2. Longseach (meaning “mariner”), was an early King of Ireland. One of the 14 Tribes of Galway.
Variants: Lehane, Lane, Lyne.
In Irish: O Laighin, Ó Liathain
Found in: Limerick, Galway
Origin: Gaelic, Norman
Two derivations, one Gaelic, the other from the Norman de Lyon
Article updated: March 31, 2017 | Image Credits