Origin of the O'Malley Clan Name


The name O’Malley is derived from the old irish Ó Maoileoin, which means descendant of the follower of St John and come from the west of Ireland in Connacht. The name O’Malley never lost its prefix O. The name is derived from the irish word “Maille meaning gentle or smooth. The Clan originally came from the County of Mayo and were one the chieftains of the baronies of Murrisk and Burrishoole. The clan was small so it was very difficult for them to retain control of the lands.

O'Malley Crest

At some stage the O’Malleys were forced from Land and onto the sea and were led by a famous woman, Grace O’Malley who lived from 1530 – 1600, she was described by her colleagues and equals as “the most famous sea captain”. Another prominent clan member includes Austin O’Malley who lived from 1760 -1843.

Other variations of the name include O’Mailey, O’Maille and O’Melia.