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If you’re happiest with the Ballincollig breeze blowing through your hair and the Lee lapping at your toes, pay homage to the Rebel county by naming your baby after a famous resident.

Here are ten solid names for the Cork-obsessed. 

1. Annie

Anna “Annie” Moore was the first Irish emigrant to pass through Ellis Island to the United States in 1892. Having left Queenstown (Cobh) aboard the S.S. Nevadaer, the brave teenager arrived in New York with her younger brothers, Anthony and Philip on New Years Day. Originally from Rowland’s Lane, just off John Redmond Street, Shandon, Annie remained in Manhattan, marrying and giving birth to 11 children before she died in 1924.
She is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Queens and a statue honouring the three Moore children, the first of more than 12 million immigrants to pass through Ellis Island, stands outside Cobh Heritage Centre.

2. Forrester

Actor Forrester Harvey was born in Cork on June 27, 1884. Having made the move to Tinsel Town, he not only appeared in the first two Tarzan films, he also landed a part in Alfred Hitchcock’s Hollywood debut Rebecca (1940) as well as The Invisible Man (1933) and The Wolf Man (1941). He’s buried in Laguna Beach, California.

Forrester Harvey, Classic Monsters

3. Miah

One half of Cork’s beloved comedy duo Cha and Miah, Michael Twomey passed away earlier this year. His character’s name is short for Jeremiah, a biblical moniker with its own Old Testament book. As a baby name, Cha (played by Frank Duggan) doesn’t have the same ring to it.

4. Cillian

The talented Mr. Murphy went from Ballintemple to Batman Begins before landing the role of Birmingham’s best looking gangster Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders. A former Pres student, he began his acting career at Cork’s Corcadorca Theatre Company. If all that doesn’t make him a worthy example for a potential namesake, he is also an outspoken patron of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland Galway.

Cillian Murphy Photo: Vassilis Karidis for So It Goes Magazine

5. Roy

An old Irish name meaning ‘red haired’ or ‘ruddy complexion’, the name Roy may also come from the word ‘roi’, French for king. In Cork however, it will always be a tribute to our very own sporting king; the joint-most successful Irish footballer of all time and assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland national football team, Mayfield’s own Roy Maurice Keane.

6. Francis

Francis Browne was a renowned photographer whose best known photographs are of the Titanic and its passengers and crew, taken shortly before the ship sank in 1912. A Jesuit priest and a classmate of James Joyce at Royal University Dublin (he is name checked in Finnegan’s Wake as Mr Browne the Jesuit) Fr Browne boarded the RMS Titanic at Southampton for the maiden voyage, photographing his way through the ill-fated ship all the way to Queenstown (Cobh) where he disembarked. He’s buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin, where he died aged 80 in 1960.

Image: Fr. Michael Garahy via Time

7. Nano

Before she died at the age of 66 in 1784, Nano Nagle had opened seven schools for poor children across Cork city, founded an almshouse for poor women, and most notably, founded the Presentation Order. Born in Mallow, the name Nano was a pet name given to her by her father. Her given name was actually Honoria.

8. Faoláin

Seán Proinsias Ó’Faoláin was an Irish short story writer. Having fought on the Republican side in the Civil War, he spent some years teaching abroad before returning to Ireland in 1932. Having written his own autobiography ‘Vive Moi!’ aged 64 in 1964, he later rewrote it before his death almost three decades later, adding five chapters and more candid recollections of his love affairs.

If that doesn’t impress you, the name Faoláin also means ‘little wolf’.

9. James 

While the celebs have been naming their baby girls James for years now, in Cork we have a special reason to choose it for either gender. Decades before women were given the okay to practise medicine, Dr James Barry (born Margaret Bulkley in Cork in 1789) disguised herself as a man in order to become a surgeon. The niece of the famous Cork painter James Barry, historians believe she used the money he left her in his will to enroll in Edinburgh University, having adopted his name. Once qualified, Dr James Barry joined the British Army and is credited with carrying out the first successful caesarean delivery as well as setting the standard in hygiene and best practice.

Despite Dr Barry’s final wishes to be buried in the clothing he died in, the instructions were roundly ignored and the truth was revealed by the woman charged with washing the body and preparing it for burial.

10. Rory

One of the most notoriously underrated musicians in history, Rory Gallagher was declared the world’s greatest guitarist by none other than Jimi Hendrix. Born in Donegal, he grew up in Sydney Park off Wellington Road in Cork, finding fame for his solo albums in the 1970s and 1980s, after forming the band Taste in the 60s. More than 30 million copies of his albums have been sold worldwide. A sculpture tribute to Gallagher, created by his childhood friend Geraldine Creedon, sits proudly in Rory Gallagher Place in the city and Fender have even produced the Rory Gallagher Signature Stratocaster in his honour.

After receiving a liver transplant in 1995, Gallagher died of complications on June 14th in London at the age of 47. Fans regularly leave tributes at his grave in St Oliver’s Cemetery in Ballincollig.


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