Macdara is an Irish first name that originates from a Christian saint, Macdara, who lived off the western coast of Ireland on a remote island over 1,500 years ago. His own first name was Sinach.
"St. Macdara's Island, a tiny speck of green about a half-mile long, was home in the sixth century to St. Macdara, Connemara's most respected saint, who built a one-room chapel here, with a dirt floor, walls of huge stones and a steep stone roof. In 1975 the church was restored and today it is considered one of the finest early Christian oratories in Ireland."
Today in Ireland, the name Macdara is quite rare as a first name but one of the most prominent uses of the name is a second level school located in the south of Dublin city named St Mac Dara's College and a renowned international clarinet soloist Macdara Ó Seireadáin. Another notable musician by the name of Macdara is Mac Dara Ó Raghallaigh, 1992 All-Ireland Champion on the fiddle.
And the film producer, Macdara Kelleher, of Fastnet films.
The spelling of the name has a number of different variations including Macdarragh and Macdarra. Mac is Irish for Son and Dara is Irish for Oak so the literal translation of Macdara is Son of Oak.
- Daryln Brewer Hoffstot, "Where Legends Outnumber People", New York Times, 1 August 1999