I found these old interesting notes.
From an Irish language correspondent:
Ó Buadhaigh would be pronounced:
in Munster: O Boowig [the Munster dialect is geographically the closest to
in Connemara: O Boowuh
in Ulster: O Boowee
It's also possible that it could have had an "oh" sound rather than an "oo" sound -
there was some switching between these in the history of the language in the
And from another Irish language correspondent:
A Mhartha, a chara,
O Buadaig to the best of my knowledge is O Buadhaigh, but in the old script there
would have been séimhiú "dots" above the d and g which are now written as dh
and gh. This is my family name too, and we pronounce it similar to "O Bwee"
using English spelling principles.
You might be interested to know that since the 1940s spelling reforms for Irish we
mostly spell our name as O Buaidhe in Donegal (pronounciation unchanged).
The last name of the latter correspondent is O Buaidhe. Googling that brings up an
interesting path to locate some modern day Gaelic relatives for those with Gaelic roots. I
no longer have the email addresses for these folks. It would make sense to hope for DNA
participants from the west where Gaelic genes are more concentrated.