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Word/nameÓ Maonaigh
Meaning"rich" or "descendant of the wealthy one"
Other names
Variant form(s)Moony, O'Moony, Moon, Money, Moonie, Mainey, Mauney, Meaney and Meeney

Mooney is a family name which is probably predominantly derived from the Irish Ó Maonaigh, pronounced Om-weeneey.[1] It can also be spelled Moony, Moonie, Mainey, Mauney, Meaney and Meeney depending on the dialectic pronunciation that was anglicised.


The origin of the Moony or Mooney families is lost in antiquity. The name is derived from maoin, a Gaelic word meaning wealth or treasure of treasure, hence when O'Maonaigh was anglicised to Mooney it meant the descendant of the wealthy one.[2]

According to Irish lore, the Mooney family comes from one of the largest and most noble Irish lines. They are said to be descendants of the ancient Irish King Heremon, who, along with his brother Herber, conquered Ireland. Heremon slew his brother shortly after their invasion, took the throne for himself, and fathered a line of kings of Ireland that include Malachi II, and King Niall of the Nine Hostages.

Baptismal records, parish records, ancient land grants, the Annals of the Four Masters, and books by O'Hart, McLysaght, and O'Brien were all used in researching the history of the Mooney family name. These varied and often ancient records indicate that distant septs of the name arose in several places throughout Ireland. The most known and most numerous sept came from the county of Offaly. The members of this sept were from Chieftain Monach, son of Ailill Mor, Lord of Ulster, who was descended from the Kings of Connacht. These family members gave their name to town lands called Ballymooney both in that county and in the neighbouring county of Leix.[3]

People with the surname[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

  • "Albert Mooney" is a character in the Irish folk-song "I'll Tell Me Ma"
  • "Officer Mooney" is a police officer who interacts with Superman in the 1978 movie[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "O'Maonaigh Pronunciation". Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  2. ^ Cox, Liam. "The Mooney Family of the Doon, County Offaly". Irish Midlands Ancestry. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008.
  3. ^ HJK49  (Visualizza annunci) (23 February 2009). "The Ancient and Distinguished History of the – Mooney – Bacheca di storia familiare e genealogia –". Retrieved 22 April 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "SUPERDAD – A Memory of Superman's "Officer Mooney"". Archived from the original on 29 November 2022.