Swinney family crestThe Irish and Scottish surname Swinney is an an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac Suibhne meaning “son of Suibhne,” a name meaning “sweet, or pleasant.” Suibhene was Lord of Knapdale in Strathclyde circa 1200. Later this family emigrated to Ireland and established three septs in Tirconell (Co. Donegal) as MacSweeney in the 14th Century. The Swinney’s were notorious mercenary fighters, or gallowglasses that came from Scotland to Ireland beginning in the 14thCentury.

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