Recorded as MacCluin, MacClune, Clune, O'Cloney, Cloney, Clooney, Clowney and possibly others, this is a famous Irish surname. It has two possible origins, and apparently two separate branches or septs. The first is from County Clare where there are at least two places named after the clan being Ballymaclune and Tiermaclune both in County Clare. The second sept is originally from the County Wexford region in the east of the country, where they are usually to be found as Cloney or Clowney. In both cases the clan is said to originate from a nickname for the earliest chief who was called or known as 'Cluana'. This word has a number of meanings, and in the literal sense can best be described as 'quick witted' although there are a number of possibilities. Unfortunately without actually being present when a name and particularly a nickname, was handed out, it is very difficult to be able to apply a modern interpretation. What is proven is that the majority of Irish clan names had a similar origin in that they derive from (usually) famous warriors or athletes, or persons of outstanding ability in some area of life. Examples of recordings include Teag MacCluin of Quin, County Clare, in 1542, whilst Robert Clonee was a witness at the church of St John the Evangelist, on June 14th 1631, and Joseph Clowney married Mary Ann Hollingsworth at Rathdown, County Wicklow, on April 27th 1849.
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