Is in Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh, 1922 le Donnchadh Ó Donnchadha atá cibé eolas atá againn ar an bhfear éagsúlach seo ar sampla é ar a ilghnéitheacht a bhí muintir na Gaeilge i dtús an chéid. Ag scríobh faoin séipéal i mBéal Átha an Ghaorthaidh dó deir an tAthair Ó Donnchadha: ‘Is i nGaoluinn atá stair na Páise ann. Ar gach stad seasann na figiúirí daite amach.... Caitliceach darbh ainm Art Branóireach a d’aistrigh an scríbhinn. Rugadh in Barrow é. Ní raibh sé ina Chaitliceach ó thosach, ach d’iompaigh sé. Thagadh sé go minic go Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh aimsir an Choláiste. Bhí an-dúil aige i gceol agus i léann na heaglaise, agus san éide bheannaithe. Théadh sé mór timpeall na tíre chun na séipéil d’fheiscint, agus thugadh sé leis pictiúir díobh. Bhí ardmheas aige ar an éadach Gotach, agus dheineadh samplaí díobh dá chairde sagart. Chuireadh sé an-shuim i léirscáileanna agus i logainmneacha, agus is as ucht na suime sin a bhronn sé léirscáileanna ar an gColáiste i mBéal Átha an Ghaorthaidh. Ba é an creideamh ar dtúis faoi ndeara dó teacht go hÉirinn. Léadh sé an Leader gach seachtain, agus ba é léamh an pháipéir sin a ghríosaigh chun na Gaoluinne é. Chonaic sé go soiléir an bhaint a bhí ag an dteangain leis an gCreideamh. Do chuaigh sé in arm Shasana i dtosach an Chogaidh Mhóir agus cé go bhféadfadh sé bheith ina oifigeach dá mba mhaith leis é, ní ghlacfadh sé le haon ardréim san arm. Ní haon ghrá a bhí aige don arm ach gur dhóigh leis gurbh é a dhualgas é’. Maraíodh sa chogadh é Lá Fhéile na Naomh Uile i mbliain a 1916. Seo mar a dúirt cara dhó i Learpholl, an tAthair Seán Ó Meachair, leis an Athair Ó Donnchadha ina thaobh : ‘I think he was received into the Church in 1904. He was then at Barrow, apprentice engineer at Vickers Shipbuilding Works. I fancy he remained there about 18 months. It was the priest at Ulverstown, a small town about nine miles from Barrow, who instructed and received him. In appearance Brandreth was of medium height, of tough-looking build, rather acquiline features, short stubby red hair. He had a jerky, emphatic way of speaking. His humour was of the quiet kind. He was very devout, and his interest in the liturgy was not the indulgence of a mere aesethic [sic] taste but the natural expression of a soul whose unconscious motto was “sentire cum Ecclesia”. He was very proud of having so many friends among the clergy secular and regular. He was a great motor-cyclist, and was devoted to his cycle, which he made use of in his pilgrimages to visit Cathedrals and Churches. Looking back now, I would compare him to some damask blade of fine temper; he was usually quiet and reserved—at rest in his scabbard, so to speak; but at the right moment he would flash forth with a cut and a thrust and slash—though there was no cruelty or aggressiveness about him’.

Níl eolas ar a aois sa teastas báis. ‘Regimental no. 2492, rank Pte, Brandreth, A.K.B. Killed in action’. Ní deirtear cén áit sa Fhrainc a maraíodh é. Bhí sé sa 23ú Cathlán, Royal Fusiliers.

Diarmuid Breathnach

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