Click for larger image






The original Irish for Hickey is Ó hIcidhe, from iceadh, meaning "healer". The Hickeys were part of the tribal grouping, the Dál gCais, which produced Brian Ború, the High King of Ireland who defeated the Vikings in 1014. This grouping had its territory in the area now part of Co. Clare and north Tipperary, and it is this area with which the Hickeys remain closely identified. Their surname arose because of their position as hereditary physicians to the royal O'Brien family.

From their original homeland, the name spread first into the neighbouring Co. Limerick, and from there even wider, so that Hickey is today one of the most common and widespread of Irish surnames.

In 1890 it was ranked 151st, with 139 births of the name, and with particular concentrations in the old areas of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary, but also in Dublin and Cork. By in 1996 it had risen to 116th.

There has been virtually no resumption of the initial "O".

The Hickey brothers, John (1756-1795) and Thomas (1760-1822) were prominent artists, as a sculptor and a portrait painter respectively.

John D. Hickey (1911-1977) was a controversial sports journalist with the Irish Independent for more than 25 years, often at loggerheads with the authorities in charge of Gaelic games.

Patrick Hickey (1927 - ) is one of Ireland’s most respected painters and printmakers. he was Head of painting at the National College of Art and Design from 1986 to 1990.

Hickey households by county in the Primary Valuation property survey of 1848-64.
Click on a county name for a parish breakdown(paying).
Antrim 1
Armagh 2
Belfast city 4
Carlow 54
Cavan 2
Clare 143
Cork 243
Cork city 23
Donegal 3
Down 2
Dublin 17
Dublin city 27
Galway 44
Kerry 43
Kildare 53
Kilkenny 120
Laois 38
Limerick 177
Limerick city 33
Longford 7
Louth 14
Meath 32
Monaghan 3
Offaly 38
Roscommon 9
Tipperary 335
Tyrone 2
Waterford 113
Westmeath 17
Wexford 16
Wicklow 17