Tuesday 24 December 2013

Seasons Greetings

I would like to take this opportunity to wish our readership a Happy, Holy and Peaceful Christmas.
I have made some good friends , got reacquainted with others and more importantly was able to help some Corrridans confirm their lineage. Unfortunately there are some that are no longer with us and we will remember this Christmas. Should anyone wish to contact me or wish to add a topic for the Blog, please feel free to do so.

With every best wish for 2014.


Friday 13 December 2013

Killarney's newest Business

Good Luck Denis & Emer on your new venture.
Hope all goes terrificly well for you

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Jerry Lyons and The Gortagleanna Tragedy- The Corridan Connection

On  May 12th 1921, during The War of  Independence ,  a troop of Black &Tans were travelling out from Listowel towards Athea when they arrested four young unarmed men in Gortaglanna. Prior to this the Barracks in Listowel had been burnt out and the troops, heavy with drink and bent on revenge decided to take these young men into a field, interrogate them , beat them for an hour before executing them. The first to be shot was Jerry Lyons (right). When this happened , Con Dee decided , that as he was going to be shot anyway, to make a run for it. He did, and almost immediately took a bullet in the thigh but managed to keep going. He ran for about 3 miles and survived. He was never recapturedand remained in hiding until the truce. His comrades Patrick Dalton and Paddy Walsh were both shot

Jerry Lyons ( pictured above ) was one of three children born to Anne & Jeremiah Lyons. (the others being Mary who married a Tom Dillon in Duagh and  Fr John who went to New York). Anne Corridan Lyons was the 3rd child and daughter of Patsy Corridan and Mary O Connor in Moyessa about 1858. Jerry was I believe at the time, a student at The Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin


“About nine-thirty a.m. on Thursday, May twelfth, 1921, I Cornelius Dee, accompanied by Patrick Dalton and Patrick Walsh [Dee's first cousin], left Athea unarmed, where we had been attending a mission given by the Redemptorist Fathers. We were walking along the road leading to Listowel when at Gortaglanna bridge we met Jerry Lyons; he was cycling. He dismounted and began talking about various happenings. After a few minutes Paddy Walsh suggested that we should go into a field as it would be safer than the road-side. We moved and were just inside the fence when we heard the noise of a lorry. ‘Take cover, lads,’ I advised, and we tried to conceal ourselves as best we could. Jerry Lyons, Paddy Dalton and I took cover immediately. Paddy Walsh ran to the end of a field and lay down. Very soon we were surrounded by men in the uniforms of the Royal Irish Constabulary. ‘We are done, Connie,’ said Paddy Dalton. ‘Come out, lads,’ I said, ‘with our hands up.’ Jerry Lyons, Paddy Dalton and myself stood with our hands over our heads. Paddy Walsh ran towards us. We were met with a torrent of abuse and foul language. I remember such expressions as ‘Ye murderers’, ‘Ye b “, ‘We have got the real root’, ‘We have got the flying column’. We were asked our names and gave them correctly; we were searched and found unarmed, having nothing but a copy of the Irish Independent.We were then compelled to undress and while we were fastening our clothes again we were beaten with rifles, struck with revolvers and thrown on the ground and kicked in trying to save ourselves. Then we were separated some distance from each other; four or five men came round each of us and my captors continued to beat me with their rifles and hit me with their fists. After about twenty minutes we were marched towards the road and then to the lorries. Paddy Walsh and Paddy Dalton were put in the first lorry. I was put in the second, and Jerry Lyons in the third. The lorries were then driven for about a half a mile towards Athea. They were then stopped and turned round. Paddy Walsh and Paddy Dalton were changed to the lorry in which I was. Jerry Lyons was not changed out of the last lorry, which was now leading. The lorries were then driven back the same road for about a mile. We were then ordered out of them. I looked at my companions; I saw blood on Jerry Lyons’ face and on Paddy Walsh’s mouth. Paddy Dalton was bleeding from the nose. We were then asked to run but we refused. We were again beaten with the rifles and ordered into a field by the roadside. We refused but were forced into the field. We asked for a trial but the Black and Tans laughed and jeered and called us murderers.
We were put standing in line facing a fence about forty yards from the road. I was placed first on the right, Jerry Lyons was next, Paddy Dalton next, and Paddy Walsh on the left. Then a Black and Tan with a rifle resting on the fence was put in front of each of us, about five yards distant. There were about ten more Black and Tans standing behind them. I looked straight into the face of the man in front of me. He delayed about twenty seconds as if he would like one of his companions to fire first. The second Black and Tan fired. Jerry Lyons flung up his arms, moaned and fell backwards. I glanced at him and noticed blood coming on his waistcoat; I turned round and ran. I was gone about twelve yards when I got wounded in the right thigh. My leg bent under me, but I held on running although I had to limp. I felt that I was being chased and I heard the bullets whizzing past me.
One of the lorries was driven along the road on my front and fire was maintained from it. After I had run for about a mile and a half I threw away my coat, collar, tie and puttees. The Tans continued to follow me for fully three miles. When too exhausted to run further, I flung myself into a drain in an oats garden. I was there about forty-five minutes when two men came along. They assisted me to walk for about forty yards. I was limping so much that one of them sent for a car and I was taken to a house.
I recognised Head Constable Smith, Listowel, along with the Black and Tans present at the massacre; also Constable Raymond, and there was one in the uniform of a district inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Above are two shots of Jerry Lyons interment at Springmount Cemetery in Duagh, the Ancestral burial place for all the Duagh Corridans. As  to who the mourners are ...I have no definites.

Above are two drafts of "In Memoriam" to mark the First Anniversary of Jerry's passing.(presumably for inclusion in the Kerryman weekly newspaper)
The one on the left was written by his Uncle Tom who had a Pub/Grocer at upper William St., Listowel on his own behalf. The hand writing on the one on right suggests that it was also written by his Uncle Tom on behalf of Mr  & Mrs Jeremiah Lyons, the parents of Jerry.
This Plaque still rests softly on the sod of Jerry Lyons Grave over 90 years later 

Friday 29 November 2013

Edmund " Ned" Corridan (1932- 2013)

Alas ! I was very sorry to learn of the passing of Edmond Corridan  last April in Vancouver. To his Wife Brenda, son John, daughter  Madeline , their families and extended families in Knockmaol , I extend my deepest sympathy to you all

On learning of Ned's passing I asked Madeline to put a few words together to give us a picture of the man that was Edmond Corridan. Mandy (Madeline) wrote the following

"Edmund Corridan known as Ned was born in Abbeyfeale, in Feb 1932. His parents Jack and Rosalee owned a dairy farm. His fondest memories of growing up on the farm was drinking the warm milk from the cows and racing around with his border collie Rover.
After leaving school at age 18, he left the farm and moved to England where he joined his older brother John. It was here that he met his wife Brenda. They had two children, John and Madeline.
He worked at a chain manufacturing company, and they were opening a new plant in South Africa. Ned jumped at the chance to go to a new country. So the family moved to a small town just outside of Johannesburg.
Ned loved the warm sunny climate and enjoyed working in his garden growing roses and peach trees.
He was an active member of the local Catholic church and eventually becoming a Sunday school teacher.
In 1997 Ned and Brenda left South Africa and moved to Vancouver Canada to join their daughter and her family. Once again Ned pursued his passion for gardening. He was an enthusiastic bowler and attended many tournaments. He joined the local church and became an extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, visiting the hospital every Friday and going to many peoples homes. He loved doing this and was visiting people right up to a few weeks before he passed away.
He was  active and healthy right up to 3 months before he died. He developed a cough and it took 2 months for the doctors to diagnose advanced lung cancer. He passed away 2 weeks later. It was long enough to say goodbye to everyone he loved, but not so long that he suffered. He had lived a long and happy life spanning 3 continents.
Ned, my dad will always be remembered as a quiet spoken gentleman with never a harsh word for anyone. A kind and loving spirit who we all loved dearly."

Even though I never met Ned or Brenda, I spoke to them several times on the phone and got the feeling as if I knew them all my life. Below are some photos that I am grateful to Ned for sharing them with me.

This was taken in 1953 in England with his brother John. John retired to Listowel and passed away in 2009/2010

This was the first and last Family reunion in Knockmaol in 1993. They are John, Jim, Ned , Tim
Eileen(Mallon), Sr Helena and Joan(Mercer)

August 2010, Ned & Brenda with daughter Madeline, her husband Brad and Grandchildren Nicole and Steven

This is the one and only picture available of Ned's father Jack 'Jamesy'  Corridan who died in 1960. He was also known as Jack d'athlete . He was according to Ned a very accomplished athlete and Ned recalled of how he would run to a race meeting, win the race and then run home. In his day , after beating the Munster Champion he got an offer to go and run in the USA. He turned down the offer as he felt that due to the physical demands of training that Athletes had a very short career..it wasn't for him

Thursday 14 November 2013

Bishop O' Dowd High School....The Corridan Connection

Bishop O'Dowd High School was established in September, 1951 by the Archdiocese of San Francisco as a Catholic co-institutional memorial high school named in honor of Bishop James T. O'Dowd. At the time of his sudden death in a traffic accident, Bishop O'Dowd was in the process of planning a new Catholic high school in the East Bay.
The school opened with 120 freshmen in facilities provided by St. Louis Bertrand School, with a faculty of two priests and four sisters. The school was staffed by diocesan priests, the Sisters of St. Dominic of Adrian, Michigan and lay men and women. More than 13,000 graduates fulfill roles of leadership and serviceThe late Bishop Mark

Bishop James was born in 1907 in San Francisco. He was the son of Mr ? O' Dowd who came from near Abbeyfeale and his wife Margaret Corridan of Knockmaol. Margaret was one of about 8 children of the marriage of Jamesie Corridan and his first wife , Maria Dillon.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

The Origins of Corridan's Cross

This is the Cottage and Land holding that gives it's name to Corridan's Cross.
It could be yours ........or at least it could have been up to a year or so. It was put on the market shortly after the passing of its last resident , legend and jovial and lovable  rogue.. Billy Mason.

Missing from over the front door is a wooden plinth that had the engraving " Corridan's Cross"

Corridan's Cross in the Townland of Kilgarvan got its name from one William Corridan. William Corridan (1837-1898) was the son of Patrick Corridan and Catherine Reidy who married in Duagh in 1826 . He  worked as a Steward or farm Manager at Eagor Sandes, Ballyhennessey .  In the early 1880's he purchased 10-20 acres at Kilgarvan . William I think had 5/6 daughters and 2 sons. One son went to USA and William Jnr stayed at home. He was born 1881 and died in Kilgarvan  on 19-2-1971 aged 90. Old William as well as his son William were both buried in the bosom of The Corridan Family Grave in Duagh.
Elizabeth one of Williams daughters stayed at home and married a Mason and among their children were Helen & Billy. Helen went to the USA where she worked at The Roger Smith Hotel on Park Avenue, New York.  Helen was a Mother Theresa like figure in New York ,in that she endeavoured that every young Irish emigrant got a start in some job or other.
Billy looked after his Mother and  the House where there never was a dull moment, as he had an open door policy and anyone travelling the Roads was more than welcome to call.
Elizabeth Mason died aged 95 in November of 1989.

Saturday 15 June 2013

Obituary. Fr. Ned Corridan

On Friday , May 24th the death took place  of Fr. Ned Corridan , a son of Knockmaol  and more recently of Killarney. Fr. Ned was ordained in Maynooth   in 1952 and spent a few years in Salford , England before taking up a short few  appointments in Moyvane ,  Ballybunion , Tousist & Tralee.

In 1957 he was appointed to the staff at St Brendan’s College, Killarney where he remained until 1974. Many students will remember  Fr.  Ned as a Greek teacher.  He had a great interest in the classics of Greek & Latin and was well versed in the writings of Homer.

In 1974, Fr. Ned was appointed as curate to Ballylongford Parish where he served for nine years, before crossing the County bounds to Millstreet  where he served for  thirteen  years. He  then had two short spells in Firies and Kenmare before his retirement in 2005.


Fr Ned was well respected as a tireless worker. He was diligent about home visitations, care of the housebound and visitation to Primary schools. His hobby was walking and he covered many miles every week. While he was a serious classical scholar, he had a way with words and a great sense of humour. He was a very  sincere  and dedicated priest and he will be remembered for his kindness and thoughtfulness in the Diocese of Kerry for fifty three years.

Removal of Fr. Ned’s remains took place on Sunday, May 26th to St Brigid’s Church, Duagh.  Requiem mass was celebrated on Monday at 12 noon, with burial afterwards in Springmount Cemetery , Duagh…the resting place of his parents and hundreds of Corridans before him. He is survived by his sister Peg and younger brother Tom (who resides in England)  as well as his nieces and nephew and extended family

                                                               MAY HE REST IN PEACE

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Coming Home....The Hoppes of Morgan Hill

On her 3rd visit to Ireland, Barbara Corridan Hoppe of Morgan Hill, California along with her husband Larry, visited the Birthplace of her Grandfather William Corridan (1880-!927) in Moyessa. Although the property has been recently sold following the death of Michael & Pat Joe it is understood that the new owners intend leaving the house as is.
William emigrated to the US in 1908 where he was a pharmacist until his premature death in a road traffic accident. William had four children. William (Barbara's father)  , Gertrude, who was killed by a school bus aged 10 in 1925, Joyce and Robert Elton.  Robert Elton is now hail and hearty at 86 and living in Arroyo
Grande. Robert and his son Jim from Indiana hope to travel to Ireland later this year . Robert , we send you our best wishes!! 

Also pictured here with Barbara & Larry in front of the old Fireplace at the "Ranch" is local jovial neighbour Monty Prendiville

Saturday 27 April 2013

A Little Patch of Heaven.....

I took a trip to Ballyheigue in the Glorious sunshine last week and took this shot from the Old Corridan Graveyard

The Bullystone (below) perched on its rood 


Friday 26 April 2013

Darker days in Ireland

The following was a  self explanatory letter from Canadian Clergy to their  helpless and powerless counterparts in Ireland during the very dark Great Famine days. Only the very fortunate made it!!!!

Quebec, the 9th June 1847.
"MY LORD AND VENERABLE BROTHER--The voice of religion and humanity imposes on me the sacred and imperative duty of exposing to your Lordship the dismal fate that awaits thousands of the unfortunate children of Ireland who come to seek in Canada an asylum from the countless evils afflicting them in their native land.
Already a considerable number of vessels overloaded with emigrants from Ireland have arrived in the waters ot the St. Lawrence. During the passage many of them weakened beforehand by misery and starvation, have contracted fatal diseases, and for the greater part have thus become victims of an untimely death.
This was but the natural result of their precarious situation. Crowded in the holds of the vessels, unable to strictly adhere to the rules of cleanliness, breathing constantly a putrid atmosphere, and relying frequently for nourishment upon insufficient and very bad provisions, it was morally impossible to escape safe and sound from so many causes of destruction.
Anchoring at Grosse-Isle, about 30 miles below Quebec, where they are compelled to perform a quarantine, the transatlantic vessels were most commonly infected with sick and dying emigrants. Last week at that station more than 2,000 patients, of whom scarcely more than half could find shelter on the island. The others were left in the holds of their respective vessels, in some cases abandoned by their own friends, spreading contagion among the other healthy passengers who were confined in the vessels, and exhibiting the heartrending spectacle of a morality three times greater than what prevailed ashore.
Our provincial government has undoubtedly manifested the greatest zeal and most parental anxiety in assisting the unhappy emigrants, but yet could not in due time employ the requisite precautions to meet their manifold wants. The consequence is, that vast numbers sighed, and do still sigh, in vain after the charitable care so necessary to the preservation of human life.
Already more than a thousand human beings have been consigned to their eternal rest in the Catholic cemetery, precursors of thousands of others who will rejoin them if the stream of emigration from Ireland continues to flow with the same abundance.
One Catholic clergyman alone, in ordinary circumstances, ministered to the spiritual wants of the quarantine station; but this year the services of even seven at a time have been indispensably required to afford to the dying emigrants the last rites and consolations of their cherished religion. Two of these gentlemen are actually lying on the bed of sickness, from the extreme fatigues they have undergone and the fever they have contracted in visiting the infected vessels and the hospitals on the island to accomplish the duties of their sacred ministry, and gladden the last moments of the Irish emigrant.
The details we receive of the scenes of horror and desolation of which the chaplains are daily and ocular witnesses, almost stagger belief and baffle description; most despairingly and immeasurably do they affect us, as the available means are totally inadequate to apply an effectual remedy to such awful calamities.
Many ot the more fortunate emigrants who escape from Grosse-Isle in good health, pay tribute to the prevailing diseases at Quebec or Montreal, and overcrowd the hospitals of these two cities, where temporary buildings are erected for the reception of a greater number, without still affording sufficient accommodation.
Amid the present confusion, we have had neither leisure nor opportunity to ascertain the number of orphans and families that are thrown for support on public charity.
I deem it necessary to mention that those who have escaped from the fatal influence of disease, are far from realizing on their arrival here, the ardent hopes they so fondly cherished of meeting with unspeakable comfort and prosperity on the banks of the St. Lawrence. To attain so desireable an end, they should possess means which the greater number have not, and which cannot be rendered available and efficacious, unless emigration be conducted on a more diminished scale.
I submit these facts to your consideration, that your lordship may use every endeavor to dissuade your diocesans from emigrating in such numbers to Canada, where they will but too often meet with either a premature death, or a fate as deplorable as the heartrending condition under which they groan in their unhappy country. Your lordship will thus open their eyes to their true interests, and prevent the honest, religious, and confiding Irish peasantry from being the victims of speculation and falling into irretrievable errors and irreparable calamities.
I have the honor to remain, my lord and venerable brother, with sentiments of profound respect, your most humble and obedient servant."
Archbishop of Quebec

Thursday 28 March 2013

Cordens of Waterbury

I received a  lovely  email from  Chuck Corden who sent me a copy of his Family Tree – dating back to Thomas  Corridon , born 1708 in Ballyheigue.  This Thomas had a Grandson, Edmund Corridon (1780-1830) who married Elizabeth Sears.  They had two Children Mary (1821-1909) and Henry (1822-1899). Elizabeth Corridon married a second time to Pierce Rice from Kerry and had four children.

Mary and Henry Corden and Pierce Rice were known to be in America in September 1850. By 1853, perhaps earlier, they made their way to Waterbury, Connecticut . In that year Mary married Patrick Bunce and Henry married Bridget Mitchell of Ballinasloe. Chuck’s Great Grandfather was Pierce Corden (1891- 1951), a son of Henry Corden and in 1919 he started a store in Waterbury called CORDEN’S  MARKET .  Pierce’s son,  Mitchell P Corridan (Mitch)  ran the store for a while before buying a second ( COOKSON’S  MARKET)which he had until his death  in the early sixties, before he passed them to his son James W Corden (02/091935- - 18/03/1993) who kept them going until 1978. James W (Jimmy) unfortunately died in a horrific auto accident. James had 3 daughters- Anne , Irene & Mary and two sons – Charles (Chuck) and James.

At a Corden  reunion  in 2002 , a book entitled “ An American Family; The History of The Corden Family in Waterbury” was launched by  Charles Mitchell Corden. It would be nice to see a copy of it sometime.

The above information was supplied to me by Chuck  Corden and his wife Kathy who along with their cousins  Charlie  Corden  and Genealogist  Mary Katherine Conlan Hall.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Corridans of Convent Street, Listowel

Whilst looking at the source of blog views one assumes that there would be hits from North America and Ireland, but when you see them from Greece, Germany, Australia, Uzbekistan and many more, you just wonder who they are. The Greek Corridan Connection was solved when I got an email from Terry Corridan in Athens. Terry was hoping some of our readers may be able to assist her in finding a little more information about her family. Terry was born in Dublin and was one of 6 children of Thomas Corridan and Annie Connolly. Thomas was born in Listowel in about 1920 and along with his younger brother Seamus (born around 1922) attended Listowel National School. Thomas went to Dublin and worked in the Civil Service. Seamus went to London and married a Lady from Listowel to where they retired in their latter years. Their father again we think was Patrick and he (we think) was married to a local lady Eleanore (Nell) Connor or O'Connor. Patrick died when the two boys were in infancy. It is thought that he may have come from Curraghtoosane area. Any help or suggestions would be most welcome.
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Monday 11 March 2013

Knockmaol Corridans, Colberts and Connors


The Corridans over time moved inland from Ballyheigue   and sprinklings of them appeared in Ballybunion , Kilgarvan  (Corridans Cross),  Drombeg (4 miles north of Listowel) , the town of Listowel, Knockmaol and Rylane near Duagh, Ballyhennessey, Lixnaw, Tralee, Fossa and other nearby pockets.

 Joseph O’ Connor in his autobiography Hostage to Fortune , recalls how his father Daniel managed to join Her Imperial Majesty’s 10th Light Infantry familiarly known as the Lincolnshire Yallabellies . To join the forces of the oppressor was a mortal sin in the eyes of many, but to those who did, I think it may have afforded them a little bit of  food and security of their familiy’s future.



“We lived on Knock Maol.  That’s a wild old hill six miles out  from  Listowel . There were three families of us on the hill, Colberts , Corridans, and Connors and Lord Listowel   was our  landlord. We had to pay him twenty pounds for our share of the hill ;  the others had to pay the same. It was too much for them. We never knew anything but hunger   an’   starvation in our  house , eating spuds three times a day and easin’  them with sour milk,  when we had it. Everything else, oats, calves, and pigs, went to pay the rent. Would you believe it?  I had never tasted a mouthful of bacon, mutton or beef until I joined the Lincolns, although I spent all my time feeding pigs, sheep and cattle. The nearest we went to it was the odd time we boiled a sheep’s head for soup or filled  its  puddings with blood and mashed potatoes for a Sunday dinner.

To make a long story short, we failed to keep up with the rent and Lord Listowel gave orders to clear us all out,  Colberts , Connors and Corridans alike. They came on small Christmas Day in January 1863, bailiffs , peelers an’ soldiers, an’ had us out on the cold bog before dawn. They burned down the houses for fear we’d go back into them when their backs were turned and took my father and the other grown up men to the Workhouse in Listowel with them. They did that ‘out of charity’ they said because Lady Listowel wouldn’t sleep the night, if the poor creatures were left homeless on the mountain.

They left me and my brother Patsy to look after ourselves We slept out with the hares, a couple o’ nights,  eatin’  swedes that had ice in the heart o’ them an’ then we parted.   He went east an’ I went west towards Tralee. I must ha’   been a sight, after  walkin’ twenty miles on my bare feet an’ an empty belly. But I wasn’t hungry for long. A nice fellow in a red jacket an ribbons flyin’ from his cap took me into a baker’s shop, gave me two penny buns to eat and a cup of tea , to wash them down. The first tea I ever tasted. He gave me a shilling all for  myself   and invited me to go with him where he lived.  Ha!  Ha! I have been a soldier of the Queen ever since."

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Kerry Head Eviction 1883

The following Article appeared in the Kerry Weekly Reporter on September 29th 1883. After reading this , you really cannot blame the Famine alone for people wanting to leave Ireland in their droves!!

“The work of eviction is not yet at an end in Kerry. At eight o clock on Tuesday morning a party, consisting of Messrs. H. F. Browne, Leary, Dennehy  and  Scannell  , left Tralee on outside cars for Dreenagh, to the west of Ballyheigue, where cottiers on the Swanzey estate were to be evicted for non – payment of rent. They arrived at their destination , after several hours drive , accompanied by a large force of police.

The holdings of the cottiers are situated on one of the wildest mountains in this wild country. It is  however, a district rich in scenic beauty and profuse in historic surroundings, so that the ‘Cromlach of the Druid’ and the ‘Battery of Helen and her soldiers’ , go hand in hand in Dreenagh  with one of the finest views of the Irish coast that could be desired.

There has been some uncertainty about the ownership of Dreenagh  town land  for a number of years. The present  eviction proceedings have arisen because the tenants have refused to pay rent to the Rev. Henry Swanzey , on the grounds that he is not the proper landlord. The tenants to be evicted were Pat O’ Hara, Jim O’ Hara, Pat Ned O’ Hara, John Ned O’ Hara, Widow O’ Hara, Edmond Corridon, John Hurley and Denis O’ Connell. Pat and Jim O’ Hara were the first to be visited, and were promptly evicted from their joint holding. A settlement was reached however, in the cases of Pat Ned and John Ned O’Hara and the Widow O’ Hara.

In the next house visited, that of Edward  Corridon , there were no less than seventeen human beings –  thirteen  children , the parents and their Grandparents. The latter were a patriarchal old couple, the Grandfather being 105 years old and his wife about 90. It was really a pitiful spectacle, as the bailiffs   threw the furniture out of the house, to see these old people, whose days were well numbered, rendered homeless.

The final tenants visited, John Hurley and Denis Connell were also evicted. As soon as the bailiffs had finished their work, the police and themselves set off at a quick march for the road where the train of sidecars awaited them, and in a short time the entire party was on its way home from the scene of the campaign”

Monday 11 February 2013

Sr Joan Corridan (1921-2013)

January 23rd we learned of the  sad passing of Sr. Joan Corridan. Those of us that were fortunate enough to cross her path (and there are quite a lot of people over the years who teased her ever sharp mind in search of their blood lines) felt very much enriched for the experience. She was  a very  warm and smart Lady, with such a welcoming and infectious smile,  who only saw  good in everybody . Joan spent the last decade or so of her life fighting her illness, before losing her  courageous  battle at the ripe old age of 92.  Sr.  Joan was predeceased by her brothers Tim, Ned, Moss and Mary. Her Parents were Maurice Corridan and Hanora Kelly and her grandparents were Thady Corridan(1845-1936) and Maria Walsh. Thady was 6th and youngest son of Thomas Corridan 1801-1878 and Margaret o Donnell.

“Ar dheis Dé go raibh sí ar aon”

 An Obituary in Kerry’s Eye the following week went as follows.

“A lifetime’s devotion to her religious life, her passion for teaching and her lifelong belief in being positive with everyone she encountered came to a peaceful closing with the passing of Sr. Joan Corridan, Convent of Mercy, Mallow and Kanturk , on January 23rd, in Teach Altra Nursing Home, Newmarket.

Born in Duagh in 1921, she was educated in the local national School and continued her education in St Leo’s in Carlow as a boarder. She entered the noviciate of The Sisters of Mercy in Cobh in 1943 and spent thirty months there before joining the community in Kanturk. She began her  training as a teacher in Careysfort College in 1945  and returned to Kanturk   on completion of her training, remaining there until her retirement in 1987. She taught in Macroom and Rushbrook schools for brief periods but the main beneficiaries of her teaching skills were the many generations of children of the North Cork town.

She made numerous friends throughout her career and her sense of fun and love of sport endeared her to many people of all ages. Her bright personality, brought out the best traits of all she met and she enjoyed the sporting rivalry between her beloved Kerry and the Rebel county on many a Munster  Final.

She had an extraordinary intellect and a willingness to engage with everyone she met, a belief that each person was God’s gift to be helped in any way she could.”

Thursday 7 February 2013

Frank Corridan - The Baseball King??

Was Frank Corridan the Greatest  Corridan  Baseball Player ever  ???   Well if not the  Greateast, then he was not far off it.!!! Baseball back then was a Purist and honest to God sport, unlike Today,  where records are are being stripped from “athletes” due to the use of PED’s.

 Born to John Corridan  and Mary Galvin, both born near Listowel,  on November 26th 1880 in Newport , Rhode Island.

Frank is credited with the first use of the “spitball” in the Major Baseball Leagues. Frank was a pitcher who had a sharp breaking curve to go with the “spitball”. He was used primarily as a relief pitcher in later years.  He had 22 “saves” in 1910. E.R.A. 2.80 The same record today would put him in the Million Dollar Class. He won 71 games and lost 68 in The National league. The “spitball” was banned in the 1920’s. Frank spent six years in The Major Leagues.They were;

1904            Chicago Cubs

1905-1909  Philadelphia Fillies

1910             St. Louis Cardinals

Frank Corridan died Syracuse, New York on February 21, 1941.



John Corridan b.1843 in Ireland and Mary Galvin  b.1841 in Ireland had these Children in Newport, Rhode Island.

John H Corridan               1865

Mary Corridan                  1867

Anna Corridan                  1869

Dennis Corridan               1871

Julia Corridan                    1874

Catherine Corridan          1876

William Corridan              1879

Frank Corridan                  1880

***The above information was supplied by Mrs  Florence Galvin Dweck, Miami Beach , Florida

 I would love to hear from Florence or any of Her extended Family 

Monday 4 February 2013

John Joseph Corridan - The Fenian Informer

The agent who had most impact in Kerry was J.J. Corydon.  Corydon’s real name was John Joseph Corridan, and he was a native of Ballyheigue.  His family had emigrated to  America when he was 12 years old. He joined the 63rd New York Regiment of the Union army on 19th October 1861. In the summer of 1862 Corydon became a sworn  Fenian,  and he returned to Ireland at the close of the Civil War. He began giving information to the Authorities in September 1866. In March 1867 Corydon was ordered by Colonel Massey to go to Millstreet and put himself under the orders of Colonel John James O Connor in Kerry. Despite being instructed by O’Connor, to take command in North Kerry with Captain O’ Brien, blow up bridges, tear up railway tracks and cut wires in that area and as far east as Rathkeale , if possible .  Instead Corydon returned to Dublin and began to provide information to break up the Fenian movement.  He too, echoed Daniel O’ Connell’s sentiments, saying that freedom was not worth the shedding of one drop of blood. On 10 July 1867 Corydon visited Naas gaol, where he identified Mortimer Moriarty, J.D. Sheehan and  James O’ Reilly, three of the Kerry prisoners. Corydon gave evidence at their trial in Tralee.

One of his former comrades complained ;
That scoundrel Corydon drew a Captain’s pay-that being supposed to be his rank in the Union army,while he was only a Surgeon’s assistant in a military Hospital. A few nights before the arrests this Rascal vwa playing cards with some of our fellows in Carey’s Hotel. He was demure and plausible; you’d thin butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

The  London magazine, The Spectator, did not think much of the informers;
“We suppose it necessary in the national Interest to employ scoundrels of this kind, but if they could be used and then hung,  the world would be a cleaner and none the less safer place.”

In the same vein the Tralee Chronicle remarked sarcastically;

“ Everyone engaged with John Joseph Corridan in saving the state has found the undertaking delightfully graceful and remunerative.”

In June 1867 Erins Hope sailed into Helvick Head harbour. Twenty nine Fenians were sent ashore under the command of Colonel   Nagle. The landing was observed by the local Coastguards. The local Magistrate and his men set off after and captured 27 of the 29 fine , able and intelligent men who were sent to Gaol in Waterford. When Talbot and J.J. Corydon came to Waterford to identify the Prisoners, The Waterford News of 1867 described what happened.
“The science of Physiognomy appears to have been unknown to the Fenian  Chiefs , for the very sight of the two wretches should be enough to excite the feeling of loathing in the breast of any intelligent person.  When the engine reached the Platform, Corydon jumped off and with a face of brass walked through the crowd of Fenians who were waiting.  One man by way of a joke came up and said “Morrow Corydon”.    Much to his surprise Corydon put up his hand ( to his hat )and replied, ”it is a fine day” to which he got the reply ” yes, for your business”.  Talbot, big and burly with his hands grasping the revolvers in his coat pockets jumped out and getting on a sidecar they cut over the bridge and saved themselves from the Ferrybank mob.”

At the Gaol, Corydon identified ten or twelve of the Americans as members of the Fenian Brotherhood, many having held high rank in the North American Army. However he told the Governor of the Gaol ;
 “He was disappointed at the class of men he saw, as the officers he had expected from America were of superior intelligence- he could not understand how Warren and Nagle could be mixed up with these men.”

Nagle was transferred to Kilmainham and wrote from his cell to Mr Collins, South mall, Cork ;
"The breed of the Corydons is not extinct in the words of the poet                                                                          

May the Grass wither from his feet
May the woods deny him shelter, earth a home.

The ashes a grave, the sun his light
And heaven his God”

Friday 1 February 2013

Cragycorridan.....showing its true beauty

Got an email from Patrick in England, (thank you very much) looking for the location of the original Corridan townland. This is the view from Ballinalacken Castle, 4 miles east of Lisdoonvarna, Co.Clare.

Thursday 31 January 2013


Kilviceeda, the Church of St.Mac a Deaghaidh translates to the Church of the son of St.Ita.  This is said to denote St. Erc  whose mother was St. Ita or Íde.

The mention of St. Erc places Kilviceeda at the Birth of Monastic Ireland as St.Erc was the mentor of The Patron Saint of Kerry...St Brendan. Folklore recorded in School Manuscripts of the 1930 say that St. Brendan was baptized by St.  Erc at the well of Keel which was said to be known as St. Erc's or St. Ida's although it is probably better known today as St. Brigid's  well. It is however accepted that St. Brendan was baptized in Ardfert in st. Wether's well.

 Today Keel in The Townland of Glenderry has the old ruins surrounded by a small graveyard. The small enclosed burial ground is reserved exclusively for the local Corridan Family. Tradition has it when a member of The Corridan Family dies, a light shines across the Bay from Mount Brandon.

 Perhaps the most interestingTradition associated with The Corridan Family is that of the " Bully Stone". This is a stone (Bullan) with healing powers that was kept on a small sculptured pillar near The Ancient Church at Keel. The real stone is now taken away and kept safely in a nearby Corridan House. It is said to be moist always and was used in conjunction with water from St. Brigid's Well as a cure for sick animals and humans.

 The uniqueness of this stone and it's veneration by  The Corridon Family attracted the attention of many Historians over the years.

Smith's History of 1786 quoted the following

 "The stone would be taken from it's place in the house and the Family would walk around the well in a clockwise direction whilst praying. Only The Corridans had the privelige of paying rounds at this well and it was not used by the general public. When the stone was put in the well , the power of the stone was activated and this could only be done by a blood Corridan. No one who married into the Family could use the stone effectively. Still further, the healing power of the well worked only on Blood Corridans."

 Ms Hickson one hundred years later in 1890 in her Publication on The Holy Wells of North Kerry wrote

 "This cupped pillar stone had the cross on its eastern face the day that I visited Kilmacida in 1883. The ball was absent in charge of one of The Corridan Tribe, who have charge of it, and the sole right of burial in the little churchyard in which the cross stands on a kind of low carn or mound. My Guide was the wife of one of the name, but she told me that she could not be buried with her husband as she was not of the blood or the tribe, but her children would rest there,  should they die at Kilmacida or near it."

 Another tradition is that when a blue light is seen surrounding The Graveyard, it heralds the imminent death of one of the extended family.  Also, when one of the Family dies overseas, The Caoineadh or Wail of lament can be heard at The Graveyard.


Saturday 26 January 2013

Where Did We Originate?

  Where Did We Originate???

Firstly, I do not want this to sound like a history lesson but, I want to create a background to the origins of our great family name and those tough and brave people that went before us.

 There are several theories as to where the Corridan Family originated from, and I am sure there is a very strong argument for each one, be it from Translations in The Book of Ballymote(1390/91) or The Spanish Armada (1588) and Don de Felipe Cordoba……is there a connection to a large flat offshore rock on the Aran Islands known on The Admiralty Charts as Table Rock and locally as An Corradán ??

What we do know is that The Corridans left County Clare about 1657 during the Terror of Cromwell. They lived on a stony and rocky patch of elevated ground in The Burren in North West Clare, in Townlands known as Cragycorridan East & West, which are still there today.  If you stand at Ballinalacken Castle and look westward towards The Atlantic, Cragycorridan forms part of the area between you and the Ocean. It is said of The Burren that “there is not enough trees to hang a man, not enough water to drown a man and not enough earth to bury a man”. When they left County Clare , they must have left “lock, stock and barrel” as they left very few traces behind.

William Collis was a Cromwellian Officer and his son John married  Mary Corridan,  daughter of Philip Óg Corridan.  Mary and her Husband got lands near Barrow, south of Ballyheigue and Kerry head.  Philip Óg got land in Glenderry, west of Ballyheigue.  This marked the arrival of the Corridans to Kerry and Keelvicida in Glenderry as their home. Incidentally, The Collis Family and their Agents over the following 250 years or so, evicted and left homeless and hungry, many Corridan families and indeed , many Irish Families.

Over the years and decades as The Corridan Clan grew, they spread their wings to Ballybunion, Drombeg, Listowel, Duagh, Lixnaw, Tralee, Ardfert and probably anywhere they could get land. It did not take them long to venture a little further to England and to that great and distant land called  America.