The Irish surname Connolly is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Conghaile meaning “ descendant of Conghal, “a personal name meaning “hound valiant” or of Ó Conghalaigh meaning “descendant of Conghalach, “ a derivative of Conghal; the two surnames have long been confused. Another possible origin is the West Cork name Mac Coingheallaigh meaning “son (or ‘descendant’) of Coingheallach, “ a personal name meaning “faithful to pledges.” The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Tirlogh O'Connola, Chief and Vice-Marshal to MacMahon, which was dated 1591, in the "Fiants Records of County Monaghan. A notable bearer of the name was James Connolly, the Irish Socialist Republican and signatory of the Irish declaration of Independence, executed following the Easter Rising of 1916.
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