Ó Braccáin, Stiamna (O'Brogan, Stephanus) (d. 1302), archbishop of Cashel, belonged to an ecclesiastical family of mid-Ulster origin. His family was probably descended from Braccán, a minor dynast of Clann Áeda, in turn an offshoot of Cenél nÉogain; in the twelfth century, the Uí Braccáin were retainers of the Ó Gairmleadaig lords of Cenél Múain (in Co. Tyrone). Predecessors of Stiamna who held senior ecclesiastical office included Nehemias Ó Braccáin (d. 1240), prior of Mellifont, and Dáuith (David; d. c.1267), bishop of Clogher, who was buried at Mellifont. A close contemporary of Stiamna was Bendicht Ó Braccáin, who served as bishop of Luigne (Achonry) 1286–1312.
Despite his Gaelic Irish background – or perhaps because of it – Stiamna Ó Braccáin became an acceptable figure to the English administration. Having been ordained to the priesthood sometime earlier, he was appointed archdeacon of Glendalough in the archdiocese of Dublin c.1278, in succession to Hugh de Chaddesden, and was assigned a prebend at Killiskey, Co. Wicklow. Since its union with Dublin, confirmed in 1216, the former diocese in the mountains had been administered by a succession of mostly English archdeacons, but the appointment of Ó Braccáin was perhaps intended to preserve some influence with the native population, as north Leinster dynasties re-emerged from the 1270s onwards and political relationships gradually deteriorated. While serving as archdeacon, he established close connections with Dublin, and became a protégé of the English churchman John of Sandford (qv), archbishop of Dublin 1284–94.
Having previously been appointed a canon of Cashel, Ó Braccáin was selected by the dean and chapter for the archiepiscopal see on 31 January 1290, perhaps as a compromise candidate, following the death five months earlier of the pointedly anti-English David Mac Cerbaill (qv). His appointment was subsequently confirmed by Pope Nicholas IV. Indebtedness to John of Sandford may help to explain why he joined Thomas of Quantock (qv), later bishop of Emly and chancellor of Ireland, in supporting attempts by the English king Edward I to tax Irish clergy in 1291. However, in the later years of his archiepiscopate he found himself striving to defend his metropolitan authority against growing interference from Anglo-Irish political interests. In early 1302 the death of Bishop Gerald Marshal of Limerick, a see that had been under English control since the early thirteenth century, gave rise to conflict as Richard de Burgh (qv) (d. 1326), the ‘Red Earl’ of Ulster, supported candidate-bishop Robert of Dundonald.
Ó Braccáin's insistence on taking control of the temporalities prompted a quarrel with the dean and chapter. He agreed to a compromise whereby he would exercise jurisdiction during the vacancy without prejudice to their rights and would conduct an archiepiscopal – but not an episcopal – visitation. Both parties were to send representatives to Rome, but Archbishop Ó Braccáin died on 25 July 1302, and was succeeded by Muirgheas Mac Cerbaill (qv), a kinsman of David, who had served as his archdeacon.