The Irish surname Mooney is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Maonaigh, meaning “descendant of Maonach,” a personal name derived from maoineach meaning “rich.” Four distinct septs of this name arose in Ireland. The first belonged to the parish of Ardara, dioceses of Raphoe, Co. Donegal, where they held church property from generation to generation. This sept claims descent from one, Monach, son of Ailioll Mor of Ulster. The Mooneys of Co. Offaly were for centuries the custodians of the shrine of St. Monahan in the parish of Lemanaghan, and gave their name to the townland of Ballymooney. Four townlands called Ballymeeny in Easky, County Sligo, locate the third sept, and finally there was a Munster sept of the name, known in modern times as Mainey.
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