Recorded as Mulqueen, Mulqueeny, in County Clare sometimes Mulligan, and in Mayo Mulkeen, these are very Irish surnames. There is some academic argument as to whether the first two spellings are related, and it remains unproven but the similarities are such that any argument is pointless. Both are Thomond names, that is to say that they originate from the ancient territory so called which was made up of most of Counties Clare, Limerick and Tipperary. Mulqueen apparently originated from the ancient Gaelic O' Maolchaoin meaning "The male descendant of the gentle chief," whilst Mulqueeny may be from the equally ancient O' Maolchaine," translating it is said as "The male descendant of the follower of St Caoine"! Well there you are, one letter difference, and seven centuries of doubt. It is said that the Mulqueens were a noted bardic family. The epicentre is the village of Ballymullqueeny near the town of Ennis, aalthough the centres of recordings for Mulqueen is Askeaton, County Limerick, and for Mulqueeny, the villages of Ennistmon, Kilkee and Kilrush in County Clare.
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