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Michael Rooney

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Michael Report 26 Jan 2003 18:11

Rooney Family Name History: Origin: Irish Spelling variations include: O'Rooney, Rooney, Roony, Roonay, Roney, and others. Rooney is the anglicised version of Ó Ruanaidh, from Ruanaidh, a personal name meaning, "champion". The principal family of the name originated in Co. Down, anciently seated at Dromor and were descended from the ancient Kings of Orgiall. Their territory was centred in the parish of Ballyroney, which includes their name. It should be noted that Rooney family members have migrated through history thereby carrying the name to many areas. The family have produced many poets. The Annals records the death of Ceallach O’Rooney "chief poet of Ireland in 1079, and the death of John O’Rooney, poet to the McGuinnesses in 1376. Born in Dublin, William Rooney (1872 - 1901) was involved in nationalist politics and the Celtic Literary Revival, co-founding the United Irishman newspaper with Arthur Griffith in 1890 at the age of 18. The most recent literary figure of the name is Padraig Rooney, winner of the Kavanagh Prize for Poetry in 1986. Two other families, both from Co. Fermanagh, have also anglicised their surnames as Rooney, the Ó Maolruanaidh ("Mulrooney"), and the Mac Maolruanaidh ("MacArooney"), both prominent in the early history of the county. Though this name originates in Ulster it is equally common in lienster and Connacht, its greatest concentrations in Ulster is in co.down. The o’Rooneys, Gaelic O’ruanaidh, (which means hero) were a co.down Sept who were based in the modern parish of ballyroney to the north of rathfriland. The name appears often in the ecclesiastical annals and history of the diocese of drumore, but it is a literary family that they are most famous, Ceallach o’Rooney died in 1079,was styled chief poet of Ireland.