The Irish surname Walsh is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Breathnach meaning “Briton.” It was used in particular to denote the Welshmen who arrived in Ireland in the wake of Strongbow’s Anglo-Norman invasion of 1170. The name is found throughout Ireland with high concentrations in counties Mayo, Cork and Kilkenny. The first recorded reference to the name was Haylen Walsh, the son of Phillip the Welshman, and dated 1171. He is recorded as being with Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, in his initial invasion of Ireland in that year. A Lawrence Walsh is registered as living in county Mayo in 1588.
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