The name 'Rooney'
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Well as you have probably already gathered , my Surname is Rooney.And on this page, I will try to show all the bits and pieces I have learned over time about where my wonderful surname came from.

If you have anything to add to this page please get in touch.

 

 
This coat of arms is one of several that has been attributed the the Rooney name
 

 

Here is MacLysaght (Surnames of Ireland) on the name:"(O) MORONEY. Properly 'Ó Maolruanaidh', now often corrupted to 'ÓMurruanaidh.

This Clare name has spread to Kerry. See Mulrooney.""(O) Mulrooney. 'Ó Maolruanaidh'. A once powerful sept subjugated by theMaguires; in Fermanagh the name is still found in small numbers.

In Co.Galway it has been changed to Moroney. Map Fermanagh, Galway. See Rooney."(O) Rooney. 'Ó Ruanaidh'. Originating in Co. Down, where Ballyrooney locatesthem, this name is now numerous in all the provinces except Munster.

In west Ulster and north Connacht Rooney is often an abbreviation of Mulrooney. (O) Rooney, Roonian. 'Ó Rúnaidhin'.

This name, which is closely associated with north Leitrim and south Donegal, has often been absorbed by Rooney.O'Donovan records the Irish form in Co. Sligo as 'Ó Rúnaighean'."Bell (Book of Ulster Surnames) says much the same and adds a little interest:,

He says the name ROONEY appears often in the ecclesiastical annals and history of the diocese of Dromore, but it is as a literary family that the yare most famous. Ceallach O'ROONEY, died 1079, was styled Chief Poet of Ireland. Eoin O'ROONEY, died 1376, was chief poet to MacGUINNESS of Iveagh.William ROONEY, 1873-1901, was a noted poet who was involved in Gaelicrevival of the late nineteenth century.

At that time the name was found to be synonymous with ROWNEY around Newery in Co. Down and with ROOHAN andRUNIAN near Ballyshannon in Co. Donegal.

He adds, "There are two different origins for Rooney in Co. Fermanagh and adjacent areas. The Mac Maolruanaigh were Kings of Fermanagh before theMaguires. Their name was anglicised as Mulrooney, then Rooney. The distinct septs of Maolruanaigh were lords of Clankelly as early as 1296.

This name was anglicised as Macarooney and was rendered thus in the late nineteenth century. It has been shortened to Rooney."

 

 
Local Author and Historian Brian MacDonald who has written many historical books on Fermanagh and is an expert on the subject very kindly contacted me with his own views on the origins of the Rooney name.This is what he told me....

McLysaght is only correct up to a point (i.e. whern he states that there were 
two distinct Rooney families in what later became Fermanagh.

To my  mind, there is strong evidence that the Mac Maolruanaidh family from 
whom you are descended were from the Ó Baoghaláin [Boylan] family, 
lords of Oriel and based at Loch Uaithne [Lough Ooney not far from 
Roslea].

The last mentioned ruler of this sept was Maolruanaidh Ó 
Baoghaláin [recorded in the wee volume titled Miscellaneous Annals]. 
Anyway, about 30-40 years after the mention of the said Maolruanaidh, 
we have the first record of your family in Cloinne Ceallaigh 
[Clankelly], presumably because they had been given space there by 
the ruling Clann Domhnaill Cloinne Ceallaigh ]Mac Donnells of 
Clankelly] after they were succeeded at [forced out of?] Loch 
Uaithne. The dates certainly fit and I can provide you with the 
references from the annals..

 

 
many thanks to Brian for contributing to this page
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