Constant and Faithful

Brosnan coat of arms 2Brosnan coat of arms 1

Bernard Hempseed kindly sent me the following information on the Brosnan coat of arms.  Bernard is married to Margaret Brosnan and they were both very enthusiastic participants in the Brosnan Gathering in 2013.

“A Blazon is the crest described in heraldic language.

Blazon; Azure a lion rampant or, on a chief of the second a boar passent with tusses and wreath all gules.

Translation; The basic shield colour is the first thing described. Azure is blue. On it is a lion and rampant means it is standing upright with forepaws extended and tail upright. Its colour is ‘or’ which is gold, normally depicted as yellow. A lion is regarded as an embodiment of courage, strength, and nobleness, and is the king of beasts. A chief is a horizontal strip at the top of the shield and it is of the second colour mentioned, vis gold. On the chief is a boar, which has long been respected for its courage and fierceness, and it has long tusks (tusses) and a curly tail (a wreath) and its colour is gules which is red. Passent means standing on three paws with the other raised.

Neither the name at the bottom nor the helmet and mantling are part of the blazon and are simply added by the artist who drew the arms. This coat of arms belongs to the Brosnan clan or family by adoption (as are thousands of similar family coats of arms) but one assumes it was granted to a family member somewhere in the dim distant past. Normally, arms are granted to an individual but Irish family arms do exist it seems.

Brosnan Motto; apparently “Fide Et Firme” which means Faithfully and Firmly or Faith and Firm.

Also suggested is “Constans Et Fidelis”, which translates Constant and Faithful.

Quite similar.

Variations on the name of Brosnan;

Brosnahan Brosnahen, Brushneen, Brushnihan, Brusnane,  Bresnahan, Brosneghan, Brosnaghan Brosnachán, Brosnaghe, Brosnihan, Brusnahan, McBrosna, O’Brosnan,

Ó Brosnacháin, Ó Brosnacáin


A Verse.

Two animals to show courage and strength

Do not need to be described at great length.

A golden lion upright standing

Upon a blue under grounding

Overtopped by a scarlet boar

Striding out on gold across the floor.

What is said herein doth give such charm

To the noble Brosnan coat of arms.”


Ar dheas Dé go raibh a h’anam

Mum beauty

On 23 March 2014 my beloved mother passed away, just days before her 83rd birthday.  Born Helen Patricia Scully, she was a proud descendant of Kerry through her grandparents James O’Neill of Ardcanaught, Keel, and Julia Egan of Killeen, Currans.  After she married Ray Brosnahan in 1958 Mum carried the Brosnahan name with equal pride and was always wonderfully supportive of Brosnahan family events.  I want to dedicate the following poem to Mum.  It is by the late Kerry poet Sigerson Clifford and was sent to me by Tom Brosnan of Dromultan.


I am Kerry like my mother before me,

And my mother’s mother and her man.

Now I sit on an office stool remembering,

And the memory of them like a fan

Soothes the embers into flame.

I am Kerry and proud of my name.


My heart is looped around the rutted hills,

That shoulder the stars out of the sky,

And about the wasp-yellow fields,

And the strands where kelp-streamers lie;

Where, soft as lovers’ gaelic, the rain falls,

Sweeping into silver the lacy mountain walls.


My grandfather tended the turf fire,

And, leaning backward into legend, spoke,

Of doings old before quills inked history.

I saw dark heroes fighting in the smoke,

Diarmuid dead inside his Iveragh cave,

And Deirdre coining upon Naoise’s grave.


I see the wise face now with its hundred wrinkles,

And every wrinkle held a thousand tales,

Of Finn and Oscar and Conawn Maol,

And sea-proud Niall whose conquering sails,

Raiding France for slaves and wine,

Brought Patrick to mind Milchu’s swine.


I should have put a noose about the throat of time,

And choked the passing of the hob-nailed years,

And stayed young always, shouting in the hills,

Where life held only fairy fears,

When I was young my feet were bare,

But I drove cattle to the fair.


Twas thus I lived, skin to skin with the earth,

Elbowed by the hills, drenched by the billows,

Watching the wild geese making black wedges,

By Skelligs far west and Annascaul of the willows.

Their voices came on every little wind,

Whispering across the half-door of the mind,

For always I am Kerry…