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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."[1]

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.

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  1. ^ Daryln Brewer Hoffstot, "Where Legends Outnumber People", New York Times, 1 August 1999