Rooney Family Crest The Irish surname Rooney is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Ruanaidh meaning ‘descendant of Ruanadh’, a byname meaning ‘champion’. The original Rooneys were from Dromore in County Down, and today whilst they are spread through Ireland, they remain principally in Ulster, and the neighboring county of Leitrim. They were famous as a literary family, who included Eoin O' Rooney, chief poet to the Mac Guinness of Iveagh in the 14th century, whilst five centuries later the tradition was still continuing with John Jerome Rooney a 19th Century poet. 

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