Orla (name)

Órla, Orlaith, Orla or Orlagh (pronounced OR-lah) is a female given name of Celtic origin. The root form of the name is Órfhlaith, interpretable as "golden princess" as it combines the Gaelic elements ór ("gold") and fhlaith (literally "prince"), its full feminine form being banfhlaith.[1]

Male (Danish)
Meaninggolden princess (Irish)
Region of originIreland (feminine)
Denmark (masculine)
Other names
Related namesÓrlaith, Órfhlaith, Orlagh
Popularitysee popular names

Well known via association with Brian Boru, whose sister Órlaith íngen Cennétig (d. 941) was queen consort to the Irish High King Donnchad Donn, Órflaith (however spelled) was the fourth-most frequently recorded female name in the annals of 12th century Ireland; after a long period of obscurity, the name—in both the Órlaith and Órla forms—became popular in the late 20th century, not only in Ireland but also in Scotland, despite the name not having a Scottish heritage.[2]

It is quite common, even in Ireland, to see the name written as Orla without the vowel-lengthening fada accent on the "o".

Orla is also a male given name in the Danish language.

Historical figuresEdit


  • Orla Barry presents a show called Weekend Blend on NewsTalk Radio, a Dublin-based station
  • Orla Guerin is a correspondent for BBC Africa
  • Orla Rapple is a well-known broadcaster, she has worked for City Channel, Beat 102/103, and AA Roadwatch. She appears on the show Seoige and O'Shea.

Arts and mediaEdit

  • Orla Brady, Irish actress; her most notable and critically acclaimed work was the 1999 film A Love Divided
  • Orlagh Cassidy, American actress
  • Órla Fallon,singer, songwriter, and harpist. She was a member of Celtic Woman from 2005 to 2009. She wrote a song called Shooting Star for herself and performed it in the 2005 and 2006 Celtic Woman tours. She successfully recorded it in her 2009 album Distant Shore. Also, serving as the backing vocalist on the song "Patapan" in her Christmas concert, she sings with American superstar David Archuleta.
  • Orla Fitzgerald, Irish actress
  • Órfhlaith Flynn, was one of the members of the musical group Anúna
  • Orla Gartland, Irish singer
  • Orla Kiely graduated from The National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and continued her education with a master's degree at the Royal College of Art in London. Her trademark leaf pattern used in her handbag design has become a highly recognisable international brand. Her collection now spans womenswear, accessories, wallpaper, homewares and stationery, plus a collection of notepaper for Tate Modern.
  • Órla McGovern, Irish actor, improviser and writer[4]
  • Orlaith McAllister, Northern Irish glamour model and former Big Brother contestant
  • Orla O'Rourke, Irish actress
  • Orla O'Shea, Irish singer
  • Orlaith Rafter, Irish actor and writer
  • Orla Tobin (Rose of Tralee), singer, winner of the 2003 Rose of Tralee contest
  • Orla Tobin (born 1982), Irish actress


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla Niall Ó Dónaill
  2. ^ "Index of Names in Irish Annals: Órlaith". Medievalscotland.org. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  3. ^ IDF LÉ Orla webpage Archived October 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Orla McGovern". IMDb.com. Retrieved 23 February 2019.