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Broudin, Brodin, Broderick, Ó Bruadair

Broudin Family Crest

Per pale gules and sable, on a
fess between three griffins'
heads erased or as many
lozenges ermines.
Crest: A demi-greyhound sable holding in the paws a dart gules
feathered argent.

This is a name of long standing and one which has held an honoured place in Irish history. Bearers of the name may claim descent from five different septs which settled in different parts of the country in counties Galway, Limerick and Cork. Today, the name is more widely distributed in Clare and Limerick, that is, in relation to its variants, such as Bruder, Broder or Broderick. Many of these variants were created from the practice in times past of combining elements of old Irish surnames with those of the many new immigrants to the Irish countryside.

Members of the sept became closely linked with the Franciscan community in Ennis during the 16th and 17th century. It was here Dermot Broudin joined the Order and then journeyed to Spain to complete his studies. He returned home in 1575 determined to wear the habit while preaching, which was forbidden at the time. He was then arrested and imprisoned and it was Donough, Earl of Thomond, who spoke in his favour and secured his release. Fr Francis Broudin was Guardian of the Ennis Friary for two periods from 1669 to 1681 and was succeeded by this cousin, Fr Bonaventure Broudin. Fr Bonaventure had previously lectured in philosophy in the Franciscan College in Prague where some of his manuscripts are still preserved.

Ennis Friary
Ennis Friary
Fr Anthony Broidin has emerged, however, as the more notable member of the family who compiled several works of historical interest whilst teaching also in the Irish College in Prague. His best-known volume "Propugnaculum Catholicae Veritatis", gives an account of all who suffered martyrdom in Ireland during the years 1640 to 1660 and this revealing work was published in 1669 in Prague. Lastly, Fr Thaddeus Broidin, who was also Guardian of the Friary in Ennis and first to be appointed Master of Novices in 1687 of the novitiate set up here for the training of young students.

Another figure of high regard was the poet Daibhi Ó Brudair (1625-1690), whose forceful verse vividly conveys the hardships endured by the native Irish during this time. A fine exponent of Irish verse who wrote elegies, religious poems and recorded with sorrow much of what he witnessed in the break-up of the great Gaelic families who once esteemed poetry and learning:

"After those poets for whom art and knowledge were wealth
Alas to have lived to see this fate befall us."

He bitterly resented the profound changes in the social scene brought about by the enforced transfer of land and property during the end of the 17th century:

"One single foot of land there is not left to us
Not what one may make his bed on."

Perhaps his greatest criticism is directed against the uncouth behaviour of new arrivals in the countryside of his people;

"O its best to be a total boor, though its bad to be boor at all
If I am to go out and about among these stupid people."

Ó Bruadair's "Summary of Ireland's Purgatory" reveals all the ills brought about by the events of the years 1640 to 1684.

Further reading:
Conlon, Patrick, "Franciscan Ennis". Ennis, 1984.
MacBrody, Fr. Anthony, 'Description of Thomond' in Brian Ó Dálaigh, "The Strangers Gaze". Ennis, Clasp Press, 1998.

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Learned Families of Thomond