The Irish surname Mulvany is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Maoilmheana meaning “descendant of Maoilmheana,” a personal name meaning "chieftain of the Main (river)." The river Main flows into Lough Neagh at Randalstown, County Antrim, this being the region where the surname is most prolific. The best known namebearers were two artists, a father and son, Thomas James Mulvany (circa 1770 - 1845), an original member of the Royal Hibernian Academy, and George Francis Mulvany (1809 - 1869), who was director of the National Gallery of Ireland; they were both born in Dublin, Ireland. Other recordings include Charles Mulvenna, a witness at Larne, County Antrim, on November 28th 1864, and Patrick Mulvenny of Ballynanich, County Down, on August 23rd 1866.
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