The Clan/Sept History
Mac Suibhne comes from the Gaelic word "suibhne" meaning 'pleasant', and Sweeney is the Anglicisation of this name. The original Suibhne from whom Sweeneys claim descent was a Scottish chief. The Sweeneys arrived in Ireland from Scotland as gallowglasses or mercenaries. They initially settled in Donegal, and subsequently spread to Co. Cork. Today the name is among the hundred most numerous names in Ireland and is most common in counties Cork, Kerry, Donegal and Mayo.
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