• Dunne surname history

    Dunne surname history

    In its form "Dunn" is an English surname, from the Old English dunn, "dark-coloured", and some of the surname in Ireland are undoubtedly of English descent. However, the vast majority of those bearing the name in Ireland descend from the O Doinn, from donn, used to describe someone who was swarthy or brown-haired. The O Doinn first came to prominence as lords of the area around Tinnehinch in the north of the modern Co. Laois (formerly Queen?s Co.), and were known as Lords of Iregan up to the seventeenth century. They were especially active in the resistance to the plantations of King?s and Queen?s counties in the sixteenth century. At that time the surname was generally anglicised as "O'Doyne". Today the name is still extremely common in that part of Ireland, though it is now also widespread throughout the country, with particular concentrations in Leinster.

    Perhaps because of the stronger English influence, in Ulster the name is generally spelt "Dunn", while it is almost invariably "Dunne" in other parts. In addition to the English connection, there was also a family of the name among the "riding clans" along the Scottish border, many of whom settled in Fermanagh after the clans were "broken" in 1603.

    With 364 births of the name in 1890, it was the 26th most common in Ireland. With commendable consistency, it was also ranked 26th in 1996.

    .Gillananaomh O Duinn (1102-1160) was celebrated in his day as a poet and historian.

    The Irish-American writer Finlay Peter Dunn is famous for the humourous "Mr. Dooley" books he published between 1898 and 1919.

    Joseph Dunn (1930-1996) was the founder and guiding spirit of Radharc Films, a maker of impassioned and committed documentaries on Irish television for 30 years. Among his published works are No Tigers in Africa (1986), No Lions in the Hierarchy (1994) and No Vipers in the Vatican (1996).

    Lee Dunne (1934 - ) is a Dublin novelist, playwright and scriptwriter best known for Goodbye to the Hill (1965) and A Bed in the Sticks (1968), his first two novels.

    Sean Dunne (1956-1995) was one of Ireland?s best-known younger poets, particularly identified with Cork and Munster generally, before his untimely death.