By Tom Gillespie
SOME years ago the former principal of Breaffy National School, and local historian, Tom Higgins, published the history of the Brownes of Breaffy, who resided in what is now the four-star Breaffy House Hotel Resort.
He wrote: The first mention of the Brownes in Co. Mayo is when Josiah Browne, a Catholic landowner from Sussex, England, settled in the Neale in 1680 on land purchased from Mac Mylers. The Breaffy connection is with his son, John, who was granted 200 acres of land there during the period of land confiscations of the Cromweilian Settlement at the end of the 17th century. This land was in the townlands of Ballyshane and Barney and was confiscated from Myles, Ulick and William Bourke.