BEARACH

AuthorRev Patrick Woulfe
Date1923
SourceIrish Names and Surnames

BEARACH, genitive -aigh, Barry; derivative of bear, a spear, javelin, or anything pointed; the name of a celebrated Connacht saint of the 6th century, Abbot of Cluain Coirpthe, in the present Co. Roscommon, and patron of the O'Hanlys; explained in the Life of the saint as signifying "one who takes a direct aim at an object, or reaches it, as it were, with the point of the sword." "Rightly has this name been given to him," said the priest, Froech, by whom he was baptised, "for he shall be a saint and his place shall be in heaven." Bearach, anglicised Barry, continued in use as a Christian name among the O'Hanlys down to recent times. Latin — Berachius.

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Explanatory Note

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Note: The old Irish letters used in the original text* have been converted to the Roman alphabet for this online version, and the lenited (or dotted) consonants changed to their aspirated equivalents, i.e. the dotted 'c' has been altered to 'ch', the dotted 'g' to 'gh', and the dotted 'm' to 'mh', etc. For example, in the name Caoimgin (Kevin), where the 'm' and 'g' are both dotted (ṁ, ġ) in the old Irish lettering, the name has been converted here to the modern Irish equivalent of Caoimhghin.

* Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall: Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, 1923.