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.