Tadhg mac Dáire Mac Bruaideadha

LifeWorksCriticismCommentaryQuotationsReferencesNotes

Life
1570-1652 [anglice Teige MacDaire]; b. Co. Clare; family of chroniclers of Thomond O’Briens, ollamh of Donogh, 4th Earl; instigator of Contention of the Bards (1617-20), writing a poem in which he boasted of the superiority of the O’Briens over the O’Neills - and the South over the North; Lughaid Ó Cléirigh the chief poet on the other side, with Roibéard Mac Artúir entering the contention in a plea for common sense, and attracting Tadhg’s poetic ire. ‘Mor Atá air Theagusc Flatha’ [‘Lesson or Advice for a Prince’], his inauguration ode to Donogh; Tadhg believed killed by Cromwellian soldier who was granted his estate in 1652. ODNB CAB DIW OCIL

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Works
‘Ode [Lesson or Advice for a Prince]’ in Charles Vallancey, A Grammar of Iberno-Celtic or Irish Language (Dublin 1773); trans. by Theophilus O’Flanagan as Advice to a Prince, in Transactions of the Gaelic Soc. of Dublin (1808), partly rep. in Gaelic Journal I (1883); also T. F. O’Rahilly, ed, Dánfhocail (Dublin 1921); L. McKenna, SJ, ed., Dioghluim Dána (Dublin 1938); McKenna, Aithdioghluim Dána (Dublin 1939), and McKenna, ed., trans. and notes, Iomarbhágh na bhFileadh - the Contention of the Bards (ITS 1918). See also Cuthbert McGrath, ‘Materials for a History of Clann Bruaidheadha’, Éigse IV.

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Commentary
Standish H. O’Grady
, Catalogue of Irish MSS in the British Museum, Vol. I (1926), on elegy for 4th Earl of Thomond: ‘Considering that in all its bearings the Earldom rested upon fundamental overthrow of old Irish Custom (the only system which to the writer can have been so much as intelligible, and to which both interest and sentiment must have wedded him heart and soul) his verses, as applied to Donough Oge, may (like certain scattered utterances of the IV masters) be deemed purely complimentary, and the true note is wanting altogether.’ (pp.389-90.)

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Quotations
Advice to a Prince (Theophilus O’Flanagan’s trans.): ‘How serious the task, how vastly great, / To teach a prince his duty to the state! / ’Tis his each blessing on the land to bring / And (what becomes a good and patriot king), / To draw his glory from such order’d sway / that all my love and cherrfully obey - / To raise his country to a prosp’rous height, / Or plunge it deep in dark disastrous night! / Since by his deeds the state must rise or fall, / He should incline to head th’advice of all ... If he his pow’r by tyrrany uphold, / Must blast the public welfare and his own / He sacrifices not himself alone! - / Death, want, and famine ghastly stalk around, / And rapine’s voice is heard with horrid sound ... Thou might king of Lumnia’s fertile plain, / Let not thy poet’s warning be in vain ... The fear of God on man impress’d with force, / Of all true wisdom is the first great source! ... yet will I praise, nor will my voice alone / be raised to celebrate they great renown ..’ (Extract in Cabinet, vol. I, pp.9-10 [two cols., c.120ll.])

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References
Dictionary of National Biography
lists the author as Macbruaidedh, Tadhg (1570-1652), an Irish poet also called Tadhg MacDaire, ollamh to Donogh O’Brien, 4th Earl; president of Munster, 1605 [sic]; acc. to this article he was the author of poems incl. a defence of northern against southern [err.]; flung over cliff by Cromwellian to whom his estates had been granted.

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Charles Read, ed., A Cabinet of Irish Literature (3 vols., 1876-78), cited as Teige MacDaire, born c.1570; his appanage possessed the castle of Dunogan, in west Clare; in order to ‘elevate the house of O’Brien above the tribes descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages’ [&c], attacked the works of Torna Eigeas, the last of the heathen bards; brought an answer from O’Clery, and almost all of the bards north and south got mixed up in the poetic strife, viz. Contention of the Bards, ending in exhaustion and weariness. Assassinated by marauding soldiers of Cromwell’s army; this soldier most likely an Irishman, for as he treacherously flung MacDaire down a precipice, he cried out in Irish with exultant mockery, ‘Say your verses now, my little man!’ [See also quotations, supra.]

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Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), Vol. X [ed. Charles Walsh], contains a biographical note in the section on Gaelic writers, derived closely from Charles Read, ed., A Cabinet of Irish Literature (3 vols., 1876-78), but adding that Douglas Hyde in his Literary History tells us that his poetry is all written in elaborate, highly wrought classical metres, and that there are still 3,400 lines extant. Vol. 6 of the same anthology contains a Hyde translation of a poem by Teige Mac Dairé [sic], ‘from the Irish, a trans. in the metre of the original, ‘‘‘Tis not War we Want to Wage / With THomand THinned by outrage. / SLIGHT not Poet’s Poignant spur / Of RIGHT ye Owe it hOnour. // Can there Cope a Man with Me / In Burning hearts Bitterly / At my BLows men BLUSH I wis, / Bright FLUSH their Furious Faces ... To QUench in QUarrels good deeds, / To Raise up WRongs in hundreds / To NAIL a NAME on a man / I FAIL note - FAME my weapon.’

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Notes
Kith & Kin: Tadhg’s brother Domnhall is cited in T. F. O’Rahilly, Dánta Gradha (Cork 1926).

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