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CarrollOne of the 25 most common Irish surnames, Carroll comes, in the vast majority of cases, from the Irish O Cearbhaill, from Cearbhall a very popular personal name thought to mean "fierce in battle". It is wide spread today throughout Connacht, Leinster and Munster, reflecting the fact that it arose almost simultaneously as a separate surname in a least 6 different parts of Ireland. The most famous of these were the Ely O' Carrolls of Uibh Fhaili, including modern Co. Offaly as well as parts of Tipperary, who derived their name from Cearhall, king of Ely, one of the leaders of the victorious native Irish army at the battle of Clontarf in 1040. Although their power was much reduced over the centuries in the continuing conflict with the Norman Butlers, they held on to their distinctive Gaelic way of life until the start of the 17th Century.

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