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printéir priontáil scáileán ar ais chuig leagan don scáileán printéir leagan furasta le priontáil BROWNE, Mary Bonaventure (c.1611c.1693)

Tá cuntas uirthi ag Helena Bean Thomáis Uí Choncheanainn in The Poor Clares in Ireland A.D. 1629-A.D 1929, 1929, agus ag Nollaig Ó Muraile in The celebrated antiquary: Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh (c.1600-1671) : his lineage, life and learning, 1996. Ceannaí saibhir i gcathair na Gaillimhe ba ea a hathair; bhí sirriamacht an chontae le fáil aige ach é a bheith sásta Mionn an Ardcheannais a ghlacadh. Chuaigh sí isteach i Siúracha Bochta Naomh Clára i gclochar Bheithil in aice le Baile Átha Luain agus bhí ann go 1647 nuair a ceapadh í ina ban-ab i nGaillimh. Cheana féin bhí tosaithe ag beirt Fhroinsiasach ar bhunreacht agus cáipéisi eile a bhain leis an ord a aistriú go Gaeilge. Thug si léi as Clochar Bheithil go Gaillimh an chóip a rinne Michél Ó Cléirigh i 1636 dá raibh déanta acu. Bhí an chuid is mó gan aistriú go fóill agus ba í a chuir an Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh i mbun an ghnó. Ba é an toradh a bhí air ‘Riaghail ar Máthar Naomtha S. Clára ar na tionntúdh i ngaoidhilic as bérla ... 1636’ (in eagar ag Eleanor Knott in Ériu XV, 1948, faoin teideal ‘An Irish seventeenth-century translation of the Rule of St. Clare’). Deir Bean Uí Choncheanainn: ‘It is an additional proof of Mother Bonaventure’s keen interest in Irish to find that she had brought this MS. with her from Bethlehem.’ Cuireann Ó Muraíle leis sin: ‘It is also an interesting index of the status of the Irish language in a community whose members were drawn so predominantly from the Old English section of the Irish population ...’.

Nuair a ghéill Gaillimh d’arm na Parlaiminte i 1652 d’éalaigh na siúracha go dtí an Spáinn. D’éag sí ann roimh 1694 (cé go luaitear 1703 mar bhliain a báis freisin). Seo é an cur síos a rinneadh uirthi in annála an Oird i 1694: ‘She was prudent, wise and well-spoken in English, Irish and Spanish. She was the mirrour and looking glasse of the religious observance that belonged to her rule and statuts all her life time. She left a true chronicle written under her owne hand, which shee sent to this convent of Sainct Clare, Galway, and a Remonstance, a chalice, a holy curious relick, many pictures, books, ornaments, and other fine things fitting for the Altar and Divine Service. All the aforesaid things were lost and burnt in the late wars, 1691. She and her holy sister [Mother Catherine Bernard] made their profession in the year 1633.’ Deir Ó Muraíle: ‘She is said to have compiled “a huge work, in quarto, in the Irish language” – a rare achievement for a woman of that era.’

Diarmuid Breathnach

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