Origin of the Aherne Clan Name


The name is an anglicised form of the gaelic Ó hEachthighearna meaning descendant of Eachthighearna (person name meaning lord of horses). They are said to descend from Echtiern who was the brother of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland, who fought a famous battle at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. The name originated in the homeland of the Dál gCáis in County Clare and so has always been associated with the area.

Aherne Coat of Arms

The family territory was in the south west of the country in Sixmilebridge in Clare as well as Limerick. Later on some of the family did migrate to the south of the country to Cork and Waterford, where they are still numerous today.

The first recorded spelling of the name in Ireland is Alan O’Hathern, a Bishop of Kerry which was dated back to 1336 – 1347.

Additional name include Ahearn, Ahearne, Ahern, Aherne, Ahearn, Aherin, Aheron, Hearn, Hearne, O’Hearn, O’Hearne.

The Aherne coat of arms includes three herons which is an obvious gesture to the name itself. This name is believed to be the anglicised form of Heffernan.