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.