Irish names that people in Ireland actually give their children
Pronounced "Ashling". Means a dream, but not just any old dream. Specifically, the dream of Ireland personified as a beautiful woman.
Pronounced "Eve-Ann". Means beautiful.
Pronounced "Kweeva" or sometimes "Keeva".
Pronounced "Keera". If you want to pronounce it "Kee-ara", then spell it Chiara and call it Italian. If you want to pronounce it "Sierra", you're probably some sort of pop princess.
(Or Eimear.) Pronounced Ee-mer, not eh-mer like United Arab Emirates.
Pronounced "Graw-nya". Irish form of Grace.
(Or even Maedb, for the purists.) Pronounced Maeve. Could also be spelled Maebh or simple Maeve.
Pronounced "Neev" or, more correctly, "Nee-uv" with two syllables.
(Or Sadhbh.) Pronounced "Sive" to rhyme with five.
Pronounced "Seersha". Means freedom.
Pronounced "Dara" with a flat a as in the first of animal, or possibly "Darra" with a less flat a as in star. Some people will claim that Dara is a girl's name and Daragh (or Darragh) is the boy's version, but then you'll walk out of the room and meet one who works it the other way around.
Irish spelling of Owen. (A variant of John, and of course Seán.)
Pronounced "Neesha". Can work for a boy or a girl.
Pronounced "Usheen". Like Usher, but with an -een instead. No relation to hoisin sauce.
Pronounced "Paw-drig" or maybe "Paw-rig". The Irish form of Patrick. Because Patrick isn't Irish enough, you know.
"Irish" names that people in other countries like to give their children
I have to tread carefully here, as I have a good friend with this name. But many people are unaware that it's simply a back-formation of Kathleen. The name Kathleen in Irish is spelled Cáitlín, but pronounced Cawt-leen, which sounds a lot more like Kathleen than the pronounciation Americans have given to the spelling. Have you considered Kate-Lynn?
This is the phonetic spelling of the Irish word "cailín", which means "girl". It's no worse than calling your child Nina, I suppose, but really, it's just a noun. Maybe if you were surprised that she wasn't a boy.
Erin is the Irish word for Ireland. It's like calling your daughter America. Again, many people do. I even know native-born Erins in Ireland. But it's also a brand of tinned foods and ready-made gravy, so you might want to take that into account.
The Shannon is the longest river in Ireland. If you'd quite like to call your daughter Amazon or Mississippi or Danube, but you want an Irish air, then go for it.
It's a last name. And a shade of green. It's not a first name in Ireland, for a boy or a girl.
Don't spell it this way. Spell it Seán or just call him John. Please.
A few real Irish names that travel well
Killian (or Cillian, but then you have to tell people it's not pronounced Sillian)
Do you have any more to add to my lists? Any mystery names whose pronounciation I can clarify for you? Have I mortally offended any Erins out there?
If you'd like to read more about St Patrick's day at home and abroad, may I suggest:
Cultural exchange of information