Two new names have taken the top spot of the most popular names for baby girls and boys in Donegal.

The most popular baby boy’s name in Donegal in 2021 was James, with Grace taking the top spot for girls.

In the previous year, Donegal parents favoured Charlie as the most popular boys’ name and Hannah and Isla were both in the top spot for girls’ names.

Donegal differed from many other counties again last year. Nationally, the top boys’ name was Jack, followed by Noah, James, Conor and Rían.

Fiadh claimed the top spot for girls for the first time, followed by Grace, Emily, Sophie and Éabha. Grace, Emily and Sophie have been permanent fixtures in the top five names for baby girls every year since 2016.

After only one new entrant into the top 100 names for boys in 2020, The Central Statistics Office had only 10 new entrants for 2021. The names Teddy, Daithí, Páidí, Jaxon, Brody, Ted, Hunter, Tadgh, Tiernan and Arlo all featured in the top 100 boys’ names for 2021. The boys’ name with the most growth in popularity in terms of rank between 2020 and 2021 was Ted, jumping 49 places from 139th place to 90th place.

There were three new entrants to the top 100 for girls: Indie, Ayla and Lottie. Croía is the girls’ name that has grown the most in popularity in 2021, jumping 43 places, rising from 95th place in 2020 to 52nd in 2021.

Some less common names for boys included Rome, Kobie, Thady, Saul and Eanna. Less popular girls’ names included Sky, Princess, Valerie, Ophelia and Noelle.

Looking back 50 years ago to 1971, John, Michael, Patrick, David and James were the names most favoured by parents of newborn baby boys. here were 198 male newborns named John in 2021, compared with 2,654 in 1971.

Interestingly, not one of the top five names for girls in 2021 appeared in the top 100 names a half century earlier. Mary, Catherine, Margaret, Fiona and Sinead were the most popular names for baby daughters in 1971, with 1,907 baby girls named Mary in that year. In 2021, there were 424 baby girls named Fiadh, 22.2% of the number of girls given the name Mary (1,907) in 1971.