An t-aon tábhacht a bhaineann leis, b’fhéidir, gurbh é is mó a thug eolas, sa leabhar Propugnaculum Catholicae Veritatis..., 1669, ar theaghlach léannta Mhic Bhruaideadha lena linn féin. Tá eolas ina thaobh: ag Thomas Wall in Father Wadding Commemorative Volume, 1957 (‘Bards and Broudins’); in Father Luke Wadding and St. Isidore’s College Rome: Biographical and historical notes and documents, 1925 le Gregory Cleary; ag Brendan Jennings in Studies XXVIII, 1939 (‘The Irish Franciscans in Prague’); ag Cuthbert McGrath in Éigse IV, Cuid a I, 1943 (‘Materials for a history of Clann Bhruaideadha’) is mó atá an t-eolas a thugann Mac Bruaideadha ar a mhuintir; ag Kevin MacGrath in Irish Ecclesiastical Record LXXXVII, Bealtaine 1952 (‘The Bruodins in Bohemia’); agus in The Parish of Kilkeedy; a local history, 1998 a thiomsaigh Frank Brew (‘The McBrody family’).

Ba é Maoilín Mac Bruaideadha a athair agus ba í Mairéad Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh a mháthair. Ba leis an Maoilín sin Baile Uí Ogáin agus roinnt eile bailte fearainn i dTuamhain. Ba gharnia é Antoine le Tadhg mac Dáire Mac Bruaideadha . I mBaile Uí Ogáin in aice leis an Tobar, Co. na Gaillimhe, ar theorainn Chontae an Chláir, a rugadh é. Dar leis féin go raibh 27 díobh, idir dheirfiúracha agus dheartháireacha, sa teaghlach. Chuaigh sé isteach sna Froinsiasaigh i gCuinche in aois fiche bliain dó agus bhí tamall ina ghairdian in Inis. I 1643, chuaigh sé a dhéanamh staidéir faoi Luke Wadding i gColáiste San Isadóir sa Róimh. Nuair a bhí deireadh lena chúrsa ansiúd i 1650 ba mhian leis dul go Prág. In ainneoin gur mhol Wadding a dhúthracht mar mhac léinn bhí sé glan in aghaidh a cheapacháin mar léachtóir i gColáiste na nGael sa chathair sin (Cleary). Chuig Froinsiasaigh na Boihéime sa chathair sin a cuireadh é. Thabhaigh sé clú mar mhúinteoir fealsúnachta agus diagachta agus bhí ina ghairdian ar mhainistreacha, mainistir S. Maria ad Nives, príomh-mhainistir na mBráithre i bPrág, ina measc. Bhí sé tamall ina definitor ar chúige Bhoihéimeach an oird. Ní go dtí 1671, agus é ag druidim i dtreo dheireadh a shaoil, a d’éirigh leis a bheith ar fhoireann Choláiste na nGael sa chathair.

Tá 1,100 leathanach in Propugnaculum Catholicae Veritatis. Níor foilsíodh an dara leath den saothar sin. D’aistrigh Chris O’Mahony an chuid a bhaineann le Co. an Chláir, ‘A Seventeenth-century description of Co. Clare’ in Dál gCais, 1989. Sa réamhrá leis an aistriúchán deir Brian Ó Dálaigh: ‘He views the country with the uncritical eye of an exile, and he is clearly given to exaggeration as he tries to impress his readers on the continent. For all that it is one of the few 17th century descriptions of the county we possess and deserves study.’

Is é atá sa Propugnaculum go príomha ná freagra ar ráitis in Itinerarium, 1639 leis an Athair Thomas Carew (1590–1672), staraí a chreid gur thír bharbartha ba ea Éire go dtí gur thug Gaill chun sibhialtachta í. D’íonsaigh Mac Bruaideadha freisin na staraithe sin ó aimsir Giraldus Cambrensis a bhí ag caitheamh anuas ar na Gaeil. Cuireann Wall [op.cit.] síos ar Mhac Bruaideadha mar ‘defender of the bardic order against all comers’ ach tagraíonn sé freisin don ‘utter lack in Bruodin himself of what the bards were most noted for – sustained dignity and restraint of style. Had the efforts of Wadding to enhance the reputation of Ireland and win prestige for his own country come only to this – a matchless torrent of billingsgate?’ Deir Jennings: ‘Let us allow him the credit of having been a first-class propagandist. Given merely a martyr’s name, he could construct all further details with the greatest facility – early biography, details of arrest, speeches, execution, and even subsequent miracles. Many a good ecclesiastic and layman in Bohemia must have read all this with emotion and have sympathised, as he never otherwise would have done, with the persecuted Catholics in Ireland; but the searcher after truth remains aghast at the writer’s power of imagination.’ Tá seo le rá ag McGrath faoi: ‘He viewed everything sub specie Hiberniae; and took the Bohemian public into his confidence about the domestic affairs of Clann Bhruaideadha. This involved his speculations in too many side issues; so that his writings, interspersed with anecdotes about Ireland, must have presented a very bizarre aspect to foreigners. Anything is liable to turn up in a theological tract; thus it is not surprising to find, what appears to be an Irish folk tale, or a proof that demons can speak every language but Irish.’ Is le diagacht a bhaineann an chuid is mó dá scríbhinní atá liostaithe ag Cleary.

Diarmuid Breathnach

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