That’s the original Irish name for Bergin – but has since become contracted to Ó Beirgin. Thats the sort of thing that happens to names as they travel down through the years.
The other thing is that Bergin lost its “O” – these were often dropped during penal law times when having a too Gaelic-sounding name might go against you. Many of the O’s and Macs were restored in the 19th century with a Gaelic resurgence, but lots of surnames left them out. So, for example – its rare to hear “O’Kelly” nowadays – its normally just Kelly. Where as a lot of Cork Sullivans restored the O – whereas in Kerry the O was often let out.
How about your name?
And this pub is exactly where you’d expect to find the Bergins – in Abbeyleix in County Laois.
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