Ó Braoin

Rev Patrick Woulfe

Ó BRAOIN—IO Brean, O Breen, O Bruen, O Browne, (O'Brien), Breen, Bruen, &c.; 'descendant of Braon' (sadness, sorrow); the name of several distinct families, of which the following are the most important: (1) Ó Braoin of Breaghmhaine. The head of this family, which is descended from Maine, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, was lord of Breaghmhaine, now the barony of Brawney, in Co. Westmeath, adjoining Athlone and the Shannon. The family still flourishes in this ancient territory, but the name has been incorrectly anglicised O'Brien, which somewhat obscures its origin. (2) Ó Braoin of Luighne. The head of this family was lord of Luighne, now the barony of Lune, in the west of Co. Meath. This family disappeared from history at an early period, the last lord of Luighne mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters having died in the year 1201. (3) Ó Braoin of Loch Gealgosa. This family, which is mentioned by O'Dugan, was probably seated in the barony of Costello, Co. Mayo, but its subsequent history cannot be traced. (4) Ó Braoin of Roscommon, the head of which was erenagh of the church of St. Coman. To this family belonged the celebrated annalist, Tighearnach Ó Braoin, one of the most learned men of his age. This family may now be represented by the Bruens in Co. Roscommon. O Bruen, O Bruyn, O Bruyen, &c, as anglicised forms of Ó Braoin in Leix and Carlow, in the 16th century, are a clear indication of the midland origin of the family of Bruen in these counties; while O Browne in Kerry is equally suggestive of the origin of the Breens in that county and in Limerick.

Alphabetical Index to Irish Surnames