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The Irish Rose

McNamara Name History

McNamara Irish Coat of Arms


Mac Conmara (anglicised as MacNamara or McNamara) is an Irish surname of a family of County Clare in Ireland. The MacNamara family were a Dál gCais sept and after the O'Briens one of the most powerful families in the Kingdom of Thomond as Lords of Clancullen (a title later divided into East and West families). They are related to the O'Gradys, also descended from the Uí Caisin line of the Dál gCais.

McNamara is a surname of Irish origin. It originated from the region of County Clare. The name began with the chieftain Cumara, of Maghadhair in county Clare. Cumara is a contracted form of Conmara – hound of the sea. His son, Domhnall, who died in 1099, adopted the surname Mac Conmara, or son of Cumara, thus becoming the very first MacNamara. The name has survived relatively unmodified as MacConmara in Irish and Mac (or Mc) Namara in English, to this day


Learn more about the McNamara

The Framed Irish Family Name History, (#1760) has more information on the McNamara surname. There is a wide selection of McNamara coat of arms products at The Irish Rose. Please visit the Irish Coat of Arms page.

Finding a pub in Ireland with the McNamara name

If you're looking to take a special family photo in front or inside of an Irish McNamara Pub, visit McNamaras Lounge Bar & Restaurant in Scarriff, County Clare, Ireland. 

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

Notable people named McNamara

  • A. J. McNamara (born 1936), American jurist from Louisiana
  • Andrew McNamara (born 1959), Australian politician from Queensland
  • Andy McNamara (born 1969), American radio sports announcer
  • Barbara McNamara (born 1942), American linguist, former deputy director of the National Security Agency
  • Bob McNamara (disambiguation)
  • Brad McNamara (born 1965), Australian professional cricketer
  • Brian McNamara (born 1960), American actor
  • Chad McNamara (born 1982), Canadian actor
  • Conor McNamara (contemporary), Irish football commentator
  • Dan McNamara (born 1984), American comedian and special effects artist
  • Danny McNamara (born 1970), English rock singer; brother of Richard McNamara
  • Dave McNamara (1887–1967), Australian Rules footballer
  • D. Harold McNamara (born 1923), American astronomer
  • Dinny McNamara (1905–1936), American professional baseball player and coach
  • Edward H. McNamara (before 1962–2006), American politician from Wayne County, Michigan; mayor of Livonia 1970–1986
  • Eileen McNamara (born 1952), American journalist, professor, and author
  • Eugene McNamara (born 1930), Canadian poet, author and professor
  • Frank Hubert McNamara (1894–1961), Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Frank McNamara (contemporary), Irish musician
  • George McNamara (1886–1952), Canadian professional ice hockey player; brother of Harold and Howard McNamara
  • Gerry McNamara (born 1934), Canadian professional hockey player
  • Gerry McNamara (born 1983), American professional basketball player
  • Greg McNamara (1950–1997), Australian professional boxer
  • H. McNamara (fl. 1914), Australian rugby league footballer
  • Harold McNamara (1889–1937), Canadian professional ice hockey player; brother of George and Howard McNamara
  • Henry McNamara (born 1934), American politician from New Jersey
  • Howard McNamara (1890–1940), Canadian professional ice hockey player; brother of George and Harold McNamara
  • Ian McNamara, Australian radio personality
  • Jackie McNamara, Sr. (born 1952), Scottish professional footballer
  • Jackie McNamara (born 1973), Scottish professional footballer and manager
  • James A. McNamara, distinguished professor of orthodontics at University of Michigan Dental School
  • Jim McNamara (born 1965), American professional baseball player
  • John McNamara (born 1950), an American artist
  • John McNamara, a baseball manager
  • John McNamara, a recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • John McNamara, co-creator of Profit (TV series)
  • John McNamara, one of the McNamara brothers who bombed the office of the Los Angeles Times in 1910
  • John J. McNamara, banker, author, Olympic medal winner
  • Joseph McNamara (disambiguation)
  • Julianne McNamara (born 1965), American artistic gymnast; 1980 and 1984 Olympic contestant
  • Katherine McNamara (born 1995), American actress, singer-songwriter, and dancer
  • Kevin McNamara (1926–1987), Irish Roman Catholic bishop and academic; Archbishop of Dublin 1984–87
  • Kevin McNamara (born 1934), British politician and MP
  • Lynne McNamara (born 1944), Canadian journalist from British Columbia
  • Maggie McNamara (1928–1978), American actress
  • Margaret McNamara (1915–1981), American teacher; founder of Reading is Fundamental; wife of Robert S. McNamara
  • Mark McNamara (born 1959), American professional basketball player
  • Michael McNamara (born 1974), Irish politician; Dáil Deputy, 2011-
  • Mike McNamara (born 1949), Irish hurling manager
  • Neville McNamara (born 1923), Australian Air Force commander
  • Noel McNamara (born 1938), Australian campaigner for victims of crime
  • Pat McNamara (Australian politician) (born 1949), Australian politician from Victoria
  • Patrick V. McNamara (1894–1966), American politician from Michigan; U.S. Senator 1954–66
  • Percy McNamara (fl. 1908–1909), Australian rugby league player
  • Peter McNamara (born 1955), Australian professional tennis player
  • Richard McNamara (born 1972), English rock guitarist and drummer; brother of Danny McNamara
  • Robert McNamara (1916–2009), American businessman, U.S. Secretary of Defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; president of the World Bank
  • Robert Craig McNamara, biologist, pedologist, businessman and farmer practicing sustainable agriculture; son of the U.S. Secretary of Defense
  • Robert McNamara (born 1987), Australian figure skater
  • Robin McNamara (born 1947), American singer, songwriter, and musician
  • Sean McNamara (contemporary), American businessman
  • Sean McNamara (born 1962), American film writer, director, and producer
  • Shane McNamara (contemporary), Australian television and film actor
  • Steve McNamara (born 1971), English rugby league coach
  • The McNamara brothers (James and John) (fl. 1905–1941), American trade unionists, bombed the office of the Los Angeles Times 1910
  • Tom McNamara (disambiguation)
  • William McNamara (1879–1947), Canadian politician from Alberta; expelled from mayorship 1914
  • William McNamara (born 1965), American actor


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