Mac Bruaideadha, Maoilín Óg (1550?–1602), poet, was a son of Maoilìn Mac Bruaideadha, ollamh le seanchas or chronicler to the O'Briens of Thomond and head of one of the learned families of Gaelic society. Maoilìn Òg received an education in keeping with his ancestors’ status, and his writings display an expert knowledge of genealogy and bardic prosody.
The poem beginning ‘Bráthair don bhás an doidhbhreas’ (‘A brother of death is poverty’) was an early appeal by Mac Bruaideadha for financial assistance and appears to have been addressed to Conor O'Brien (qv), 3rd earl of Thomond, in the period 1576–9. Remarkably, the same work contained a threat to denounce the protestant and pro-English earl for worshipping images and subjecting his lordship to the traditional but officially prohibited exaction of coinnmheadh (coyne). Mac Bruaideadha did not succeed to the position of ollamh on his father's death in 1582 and may at that time have been a dependent of Sir Turlough O'Brien of Dough, who was disputing ownership of the barony of Corcomroe with the earl of Thomond, his cousin. When a royal pardon was granted to Sir Turlough and his followers in 1585, a ‘Miellien oge McBroaddie’ was among those to whom it applied. A long poem beginning ‘Cuirfead cumaoin ar chlainn Táil’, in which Mac Bruaideadha traced the descent of the O'Briens from Milesius, was dedicated to Sir Turlough and may date from the same period, but when he composed another poem in praise of the O'Briens (‘Tug damh th'aire a Inis an Laoigh’) in 1588, he gave pride of place to Donough O'Brien (qv), 4th earl of Thomond, suggesting that by then he was a dependent of the earl.
In the 1590s he was proprietor of the townland of Kilkeedy in the parish of Ruan, near Corofin, and served repeatedly as a juror. William Daniel (qv), a fellow of TCD, was assisted in preparing the first Irish translation of the New Testament during the 1590s by a scholar named Maoilín Óg Mac Bruaideadha, who should probably be identified with the poet – his involvement in the project would have reflected the protestant sympathies of the earl of Thomond. Maoilín Óg was the recognised head of the Mac Bruaideadha family in 1599 when Aodh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill (qv) raided Co. Clare. The high status still attaching to poets was shown by an incident that happened when Mac Bruaideadha's cattle were seized by the Ulstermen: he appeared before Ó Domhnaill, demanded the return of his property, and composed a quatrain justifying the northern earl's conduct when his request was granted.
Mac Bruaideadha died on 31 December 1602. A book of annals that he began in 1588 was an important source for Annála ríoghachta Éireann (the so-called ‘Annals of the Four Masters’) but has since been lost. Among those who certified the accuracy of the latter work at the request of Mícheál Ó Cléirigh (qv) in 1636 was Conchubhar Mac Bruaideadha, a son of Maoilín Óg, who succeeded his father as proprietor of the Kilkeedy property.