Walsh is an Irish surname, meaning "Briton" or "foreigner," literally "Welshman," taken to Ireland by Brythonic (Welsh, Cornish and Cumbrian) soldiers during the Norman Invasion of Ireland. It is most common in County Mayo and County Kilkenny. It is the fourth most common surname in Ireland, and the 325th most common in the United States. There are variants including "Walshe", "Welsh", "Brannagh" and "Breathnach". Walsh is uncommon as a given name. The name is often pronounced "Welsh" in the south and west of the country.
History: The Knights Philip and David Le Waleys, an early variant of the name Walsh, were the first Walshes to come to Ireland. The two brothers, who were Barons of Cornwall, came to the country in 1169. Turgesius (or Mac Turger) was at the time leading a Danish colonising force in the Cork-Waterford area. They were loading ships in Dungarvan with raided cattle and goods to be sent to Denmark. In a naval battle, where the Danish forces were defeated, Turgesius was slain by Philip Le Waleys in single combat. Philip later settled in South Kilkenny, marrying a Mary McCarthy.