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Irish Family Crests

     Last year our resident Twisted Sister Emily was lucky enough to spend a week of her summer holiday in Ireland - and even on vacation, thoughts of Whose Line could not be purged from her mind.  While browsing a gift shop in Blarney, County Cork, Emily happened upon a large rack of keychains showcasing dozens of Irish surnames, family crests and little blerbs about each.   Instead of trying to find her OWN name like NORMAL people, the poor child immediately began searching the entire display for as many Whose Line names as she could find.  Now, in honor of Saint Patrick's Day (however late), Emily has decided to do what she had intended to do six months ago.

     Below are pictured the Family Crests for each Whose Line name that Emily found (four in all: Brady, Carey, Slattery and Sweeney) and the extra information printed on the back of each keychain.  Please do not take the pictures or the information without asking; the owners of this site are proud to have found them themselves!  May the luck of the Irish be with you, and Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


This very common surname in Ireland has its origins in the Gaelic O'Bradargh meaning "decendant of Bradach".  This personal name may be derived from "bradach" meaning "spritied or urging" or "thieving and dishonest".  It also occurs as MacBrady, a powerful sept of Breffny.  They are now most frequent in Co. Cavan.  The motto for Brady is "In God confide."


This is the anglicised version of the Gaelic O'Ciardha meaning "descendant of Ciardha".  This is a personal name derived from "ciar" meaning "dark or black".  It also occurs as O'Keary.  Carey can be found frequently in Co. Cork, Kerry and Tipperary.  The motto for Carey is "Sine macula".


This is the anglicised version of the Gaelic O'Slat(ar)ra, meaning "descendant of Slatra", a byname meaning "robust, strong and bold".  The name originated in Ballyslattery in the Barony of Tulla Upper in east Co. Clare and has now spread to the adjacent countries of Munster.  There is no motto for the name Slattery.


This is the anglicised version of the Gaelic MacSuibhne, meaning "son of Suibhne", a byname meaning "pleasant".  The three great Tirconnell septs of MacSweeney were established in the fourteenth century and the name is now most numerous in counties Kerry and Cork.  The motto for Sweeney is "By the providence of God."