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The surname McAleer originates from County Tyrone and Armagh, Ulster on the island of Ireland, moving into western regions of Scotland. It is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic Mac Giolla Uidhir or Mac Giolla Uír. It is thought to mean "Son of the servant of Saint Odhar". Legend says that Saint Odhar was Saint Patrick's charioteer.
- Hugh McAleer, Irish Nationalist member of the House of Commons of Northern Ireland for Mid Tyrone, 1929-1941.
- Jimmy McAleer, American baseball player.
- Caolan McAleer, Northern Irish footballer
- Owen McAleer, Mayor of Los Angeles from 1904 till 1906.
- Patrick Pearse McAleer, a Sinn Féin councillor for County Tyrone.
- Dave McAleer, Chief Consultant/Contributor of the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums
- Des McAleer, Northern Irish actor
- Declan McAleer, Irish politician
- Kevin McAleer, Irish comic
- Phelim McAleer, Irish filmmaker
- William McAleer, US politician
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