This name, with variant spellings Dorran, Dorrian and O'D(e)oran, is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic O'Deoradhain (modern Irish O' Deorain). The Gaelic prefix "o" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname "Deorain", from "deoradh", an exile, wanderer or stranger. The Dorans were one of the seven septs of Leix (O' Doran, O' Devoy, O' Dowling, McEvoy, O' Kelly, O' Lalor, and O' Moore) and they were known as "the great Brehan family of Leinster". The word "brehan" refers to the Gaelic legal system in force before the Norman Invasion on which the family was expert.
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