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The Irish Rose

Daly Name History

Daly Irish Coat of Arms

Daly is an Irish surname, derived from the Gaelic Ó Dálaigh. The modern Irish surnames O'Daly, Daly, Daley, Daily, Dailey and Dawley are derived from Ó Dálaigh. The name Ó Dálaigh means 'descendant of Dálach'. The derivation of the personal name Dálach is not entirely obvious, but the most widely accepted theory is that it derives from the same root as dáil meaning "assembly;" the Irish Parliament is called 'Dáil Éireann.' Dálach therefore probably meant "assemblyman" or "councillor."

The earliest records of the family place them in the region of Tethba in what is now Westmeath, their lands were in Moyashel & Magheradernon barony, Westmeath. The ancestral clan was called Corca Adaimh ('Race of Adam') and they claimed descent from a son of Niall of the Nine Hostages (High King of Ireland circa 400AD) via Máel Dúin mac Máele Fithrich of the Cenél maic Ercae, who was king of Ailech in Ulster. Máel Dúin's sons included the high king Fergal mac Máele Dúin and Adamh, the Ó Dálaigh ancestor. However, one source claims that Adamh was a son of, confusingly, another Máel Dúin the son of Fergal mac Máele Dúin. The great-grandson of Adamh was called Dálach, from whom the later surname derived. The Ó Dálaigh claimed kinship with the O'Neills and O'Donnells.

Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh asserted a descent for the family from a 6th-century Dálach, who was the pupil of the saint and poet Colmán the patron of the cathedral town of Cloyne. Dalach is said to have become a bishop of the early Irish Church.

The Ó Dálaigh who settled in Munster seem to have been given an alternative descent from the Eóganacht kings of Cashel, in particular from Aenghus the king of Cashel who was baptised by St. Patrick. However, this pedigree is less well attested than that deriving from Niall and there is no clear indication that the Munster branch of the Ó Dálaigh were considered to have had separate origins from the others. It may merely represent an attempt to integrate the bardic family with the local dynasties they served.

Learn more about the Daly family and coat of arms

For detailed Daly name history information, our Framed Irish Family Name History (#1760) has more information on Daly family origins, coat of arms, and surname.

Visit Daly's in Ireland

There's at least one Irish pub that can boast the Daly name. Visit Katie Daly's Bar and Restaurant in Gorey, County Wexford.

If you can't visit in person, our personalized pub gifts are the next best thing!

Notable people named Daly

Entertainment

  • Andrew Daly (born 1971), American actor, writer, and comedian
  • Augustin Daly (1838–1899), American theatrical manager and playwright
  • Candice Daly (1963–2004), American actress
  • Carson Daly, television personality
  • Eileen Daly, English actress and singer
  • Gary Daly, English songwriter and vocalist
  • James Daly (actor) (1918-1978), American actor
  • John Charles Daly (1914–1991), American journalist game show host and radio personality
  • Mark Daly, British actor
  • Mike Daly, American alt-country and rock and roll singer/songwriter
  • Peter-Hugo Daly, actor and drummer
  • Tess Daly (born 1969), English television presenter
  • Timothy Daly, American theatre, screen and voice actor, director and producer
  • Tyne Daly, American actress
  • William Merrigan Daly (1887–1936), known as Bill Daly, Broadway songwriter and conductor

Sports

  • Aidan Daly, New Zealand basketball player
  • Aisling Daly (born 1987), Irish mixed martial arts fighter
  • Anthony Daly (hurler), Irish
  • Bill Daly, Canadian Deputy Commissioner of hockey
  • Charles Dudley Daly, West Point Coach, Founder of AFCA
  • Chuck Daly (1930–2009), American basketball head coach
  • Derek Daly, Irish racing driver
  • Fred Daly (golfer) (1911–1990), Northern Irish golfer
  • Gerry Daly, Irish football player
  • John Daly (athlete), Irish steeplechase athlete
  • John Daly (golfer), professional golfer
  • Jon Daly (footballer), Irish football (soccer) player
  • Robert Daly, Irish sprinter
  • Tom Daly (1891–1946), Canadian baseball player
  • Wes Daly, English football player

Politics and government

  • Anthony Daly, Irish agrarian agitator
  • Brendan Daly (politician) (born 1940), Irish Fianna Fáil Party politician
  • Chris Daly, American politician, San Francisco, California
  • Clare Daly, Irish socialist politician and trade union activist
  • Denis Daly (1747–1792), Irish landowner and politician
  • Dominick Daly (1798–1868), British Governor of Prince Edward Island, Tobago and South Australia
  • Edward Daly (Irish revolutionary) (1891–1916), Irish nationalist
  • Fred Daly (Australian politician) (1913–1995), Australian Labor Party politician
  • James Daly (Irish Land League) (1838-1910) Irish nationalist activist
  • James Daly, 1st Baron Dunsandle and Clanconal (1782–1847), Irish baron and politician
  • J. Burrwood Daly (1872–1939), US congressman
  • John Corry Wilson Daly (1796–1878), Canadian politician, businessperson and militia officer
  • John Lawrence Daly (1943–2004), self-declared "Greenhouse skeptic"
  • Lawrence Joseph Sarsfield Daly (1912–1979), fringe American politician
  • Malachy Bowes Daly (1836–1920), Canadian politician
  • Margaret Daly, served in the European Parliament
  • Mark Daly (born 1973), Irish politician
  • Teresa Daly, American politician
  • Thomas Mayne Daly, Sr. (1827–1885), Canadian businessman and political figure
  • Thomas Mayne Daly (1852–1911), Canadian politician
  • William Davis Daly (1851–1900), American Democratic Party politician who represented New Jersey
  • Will H. Daly (1869–1924), American labor leader, progressive politician and businessman

Journalism and literature

  • Brian Daly, Irish news journalist
  • James Daly (journalist), American journalist in San Francisco
  • John Daly (journalist), American newspaper and television journalist
  • Maureen Daly (1921–2006), American novelist
  • Wally K. Daly, English writer for television and radio

Academics and science

  • Herman Daly, ecological economist and professor
  • Marie Maynard Daly, first black female in the US to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry
  • Martin Daly, Canadian psychology professor
  • Reginald Aldworth Daly (1871–1957), Canadian geologist
  • Richard Daly, known for the Daly detector, a type of mass spectrometry detector

Religion

  • Cahal Daly (1917-2009), Irish Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh
  • Edward Daly (bishop) (1933–2016), Irish religious leader
  • James Joseph Daly (1921–2013), American Roman Catholic bishop
  • Mary Daly, radical feminist and theologian

Other

  • Bernard Daly (1858-1920), Pioneer doctor and Oregon politician
  • Daniel Daly (1873–1937), US Marine, Double Medal of Honor recipient
  • John Daly (outlaw) (1839–1864), American western outlaw
  • John Donald Daly (1840–1923), California businessman and landowner
  • Marcus Daly (1841–1900), Irish-born American copper-mining businessman
  • Paddy Daly, soldier in the Irish Republican Army
  • Seamus Daly, Irish Republican
  • Thomas Aquinas Daly, American contemporary landscape and still-life painter
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