Monday 17 November 2014

Sean Corridan R.I.P.

The following Obituary appeared on the Abbeyfeale Blog last week.
Sean was son of Tim, son of Tom , son of Tom of Foildarrig, son of Thomas and Margaret.  Sean was predeceased by his brother Kieran who was killed in a road traffic accident a few years ago and was a Clerk in Listowel.

We extend our deepest sympathies to all his Family

It was with a deep sense of sadness and loss that we learned last week of the death in London of Seán Corridan formerly of Kilmanihan, County Kerry.

Seán and I were classmates at St Ita's College, Abbeyfeale in the late sixties and went through all the many trials and tribulations associated with studying for the Intermediate and Leaving Certificate Examinations.

Seán had a roguish smile and a quick quip and a cheerful word for everybody. He never took himself too seriously and displayed a healthy disregard for authority.

We were involved in numerous practical jokes and harmless pranks down through the years, often with quite hilarious and unexpected consequences.

If any bit of mischief or devilment occurred in the classroom or out in the yard, Seán usually had some involvement!

We occasionally “collaborated” on homework assignments. One day the headmaster, Jim Kelly, hauled us out in front of the class. We had presented what we thought were two immaculate maths papers. Unfortunately, they were both identical – and wrong! Jim demanded an explanation.

Great minds think alike, sir?” suggested Seán innocently.

And fools seldom differ” replied Jim, with feigned severity as he drew a thick red line through both papers and banished us down to the back benches.

Jim always held Seán in high regard and, in our final year, he appointed him Sports Captain of the school. Seán took the whole thing in his stride but we suspected that he was secretly delighted to be given such an honour.

We had a fairly decent football team at the time. However, we were competing in the Kerry Colleges championships and were drawn against the likes of Listowel, Tralee, Castleisland, Dingle and the famed St Brendan's College in Killarney. Many of their players would later go on to become household names with the great Kerry teams of the seventies.

Kerry footballer, Billy Doran, had joined the teaching staff and both he and Seán took charge of training the team. Seán's dressing-room talks were legendary, and when we raced out on to the pitch he had us believing that we could crash through brick walls.

Seán played at midfield but, in truth, he roamed all over the pitch cajoling, encouraging and giving a helping hand wherever it was needed. One moment he was kicking a superb point from a seemingly impossible angle out near the sideline, the next he was fielding a high ball in his own square and lofting a mighty clearance out the field. It was inspirational stuff and it lifted the whole team.

We didn't always win – but we didn't always lose either. Anyway we could be relied upon to give a good account of ourselves or face a lively lecture from Seán!

When our school days ended the class dispersed and slowly scattered to the four corners of the earth and most of us eventually lost touch. Seán finally settled in London where he joined the Kingdom GAA Club. He went on to win seven London County titles with the club and also played a major part in the founding of Fulham Irish in 2006.

Many fulsome tributes were paid to Seán last week and the following article by Seán Moriarty appeared in the Irish World newspaper; 
"Tributes have been paid to Sean Corridon who died last week after a short illness.

The Kerryman was a loyal servant to the London GAA and had many claims to fame. He was part of the mighty Kingdom team of the 1970s and has seven London county championships medals to his name.

He was instrumental in the setting up of Fulham Irish when that club was founded in 2006 and in 2011 laid claim to be the oldest footballer ever to grace a GAA pitch when lined out for Irish in a reserve championship game at Ruislip. He was ever-present at Ruislip and could always be relied upon to the thankless jobs like linesman or umpire.

Fulham Irish issued a statement on his passing last week. It said: “It is with great regret that Fulham Irish GAA received the news of the untimely passing of Sean Corridan.

Sean was a one of the very few people involved with the London County board who offered unflinching support during the difficult period that Fulham Irish GAA came into existence in 2006. Sean was easily identifiable as a genuine gentleman who always had the player at the forefront of his thoughts.

In 2009, Sean joined Fulham Irish GAA to get involved with the running of the Senior football team. He remained a dedicated member right through to the end and could always be relied upon to help out when required, always there, always ready to help out.

One of those occasions happened in 2011, when the Fulham Irish Reserve team were playing a match against St Kiernans. Playing with only 14 players, the game was close enough. To make the numbers up to 15, Sean pulled on a jersey at half time but unlike others who do this, he stayed on the field for the duration of the game, twice catching the ball and laying it off for scores.

One of the sweet victories for the club after which Sean was researching whether he was oldest player to ever play in London. We offer our sincere sympathies to his Family and wide circle of Friends. May he rest in peace.”

He was also well-connected with the St Joseph’s club in London.

On behalf of everyone involved with St. Joseph’s, we wish to extend our sincerest sympathy to the Corden family following the recent sad passing of Sean. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time. Sean will be very sadly missed by everyone in the Joe’s.”

Mr Corridon was a life-long member of the Kerry Association London.

Secretary Tara Cronin said: “ It was with great sadness that I learnt of the passing of Sean Corridon. Sean was a long standing member of the Kerry Association in London and has been involved with us for a number of years. Sean was an integral part of the committee and he will be missed. My deepest sympathies to his wife and family.”

Sean is survived by his wife Mary, children Dawn and Derry and granddaughter Beth."
(C* Seán Moriarty. Irish World.)

We offer our condolences to Seán's bereaved family, relatives and friends, and perhaps we might end with a quote from Hamlet which we both learned at school all those years ago;

Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.  Rest In Peace, old friend.


Saturday 15 February 2014

Shawn Corridan and GITMO

I mentioned few weeks ago about Jack Corridan and being inducted into The Hall of Fame. Well, I was delighted to get a note from  Jack' s  son Shawn who was going to be accepting the Award on behalf of his Father. Shawn is a scholarship athlete and author, a graduate of the University of Hawaii and member of the Writers Guild of America. Long time resident of Honolulu , married to Julie (Alie) Corridan.

"Friends and family of the inductees gathered at Saturday’s reception, one coming from as far as Honolulu, Hawaii. Growing up, Shawn Corridan never knew of his father Jack Corridan’s exploits on the track.
The Wiley grad was known by many in the community to always run to school at St. Patrick’s Elementary and then to Wiley High School.
Jack Corridan won the mile state championship in 1942 in a record time of 4 minutes, 24.4 seconds.
Corridan went on to become a rocket scientist with NASA. His work helped put the first man on the moon. (Must have been all that running ... research shows exercise helps the brain, after all.)
“He was also a very humble person, too humble If I would have known more about him as I was growing up, it would have meant the world to me. It would have changed my life,” Shawn said at the induction Friday night. “Let this be a lesson to all you mothers and fathers out there: If you have a story to tell, no matter how insignificant you think it is, tell your kids. Tell them now. Don’t wait.”


As mentioned above Shawn is an Author and his Book is reviewed hereunder.
Why not  " shop local " and support one of our own Clan , by downloading a copy TODAY!!!!! 

Local writer teams with ex-con, reaps glowing Kirkus Review for “GITMO”
Honolulu, Hawaii – August 17, 2012
In his debut novel, Shawn Corridan – screenwriter, long-time resident and University of Hawaii graduate – partnered with Gary Brooks Waid, an old friend from Florida who’d served eight harrowing years in Florida prisons for smuggling. The results of their collaboration? A stellar review from Kirkus Books, the oldest and most prestigious book reviewer in the nation.
Years ago, Corridan had been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard during an ill-fated smuggling run to Jamaica and was towed into notorious Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba. Corridan vowed to write about his exploits someday.
“GITMO” is an action-comedy-adventure novel currently selling at Amazon/Kindle, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble Nook. The novel is being compared to the writing of world-renown author, Carl Hiaasen. The review can be found at the Kirkus Review website. See attached or read below:
Waid, Gary and Shawn Corridan Amazon Digital Services (306 pp.) $2.99 e-book, $2.99 e-book December 14, 2011
In Waid and Corridan’s debut novel, an ex-convict’s attempt to get back on his feet in his home base of Miami results in an unexpected and illegal expedition to Cuba.
Dixon Sweeney is not having a good week. He returns home from years of incarceration to discover that his house and wife are gone, the latter having left him for his best friend. To add insult to injury, a local gang leader threatens to kill Sweeney unless he repays the $65,000 he claims Sweeney owes him. So when an old Cuban associate of his deceased father approaches Sweeney and offers him a half-million dollars to smuggle his granddaughter out of Cuba, the desperate man reluctantly agrees, setting off a life-changing chain of events. Waid and Corridan have constructed a tightly written, extremely entertaining caper with an engaging, witty protagonist. The story deftly balances comedy and suspense, with Sweeney wryly narrating his increasingly bizarre situation in a self-deprecating voice. As outrageous and funny as the novel’s events can be, however, the authors ground their tale and characters in emotional reality. The desperation that drives Sweeney and Maria, the woman he rescues, maintains verisimilitude, even during the story’s most action-packed moments. The same can be said of the authors’ fully realized depictions of Cuba and Guantanamo Bay, which lend plausibility to the novel’s far-fetched turns, particularly regarding the unfolding love story. The novel also delivers several masterful twists that seem simultaneously shocking and, in retrospect, inevitable. "GITMO" is an appealing, satirical, action-tinged adventure.
An exciting read that should appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen, espionage thrillers and caper comedies.

Thursday 13 February 2014

Corridans of Keokuk, GreeneValley, Kinross and Hinkletown and their Listowel relatives

The Document below is a fascinating and important Historical Document that outlines the life of a very old Corridan Family that left Listowel shortly after The Great Famine in search of a better life .
These have been passed to me and authorised for use in this blog by Maggie Christy of West Liberty.
Maggie , I am very thankful!!

The following is an  account of Michael Corridan of Listowel who along with his Brother John and his Mother Margaret emigrated to the USA in 1852. I assume his father was deceased at this stage. They were also joined in the USA by their cousins who went to Chicago area. The letters below were a combination of notes sent within the USA to each other and some from Edmond Corridan back in the old Country. The contrast between the fortunes of those that left and those that stayed are very apparent. (Not to mention the fact that  they rubbed shoulders with celebrities  ??  as The Jesse James Gang encamped on Johnny Corridan's lands.)

There is also a reference to one of the oldest Headstones in Listowels Old GRAVEYARD  in the last letter written by Ned Corridan to his Cousins in the USA , where he is seeking a few Pounds for the erection of a Family Tomb .If anyone can give me enlightenment or help solve some of the missing pieces , I would be very thankful. The tomb  never came to fruition. Edmond(Ned) who wrote this letter in 1873 , to the best of my knowledge died in 1886 aged 56.

I did write in an earlier entry  about the Corridan Brothers from Convent Street, Thomas and Seamus(James).   I see from some scribbles from my father that Seamus told him that "The people who wrote the letter in 1883 originated from Seamus' Grandfather"



Wednesday 29 January 2014

Irish Slaves

   The Following article appeared in The Irish Examiner a few months ago. We all shudder and cringe at the thought of Alex Haleys' Roots but , the slave trade in Ireland though not possibly as big, was equally nauseating.

"During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England.

According to John Martin of the Montreal-based Center for Research and Globalisation, in a new article, The Irish Slave Trade — The Forgotten ‘White’ Slaves’, during that decade some 52,000, mostly women and children were sold to Barbados and Virginia, with another 30,000 Irish men and women transported to and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Oliver Cromwell ordered that 2,000 children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers there.

Mr Martin said the Irish slave trade began with James II in 1625, leading to Ireland rapidly becoming the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. “The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid-1600s the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.”

Mr Martin explains how the Irish population fell drastically due to the slave trade. This was done at the hands of the British who simply broke up families and sold them to settlers in the New World.

“From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well,” he said.

“Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: slaves. They’ll come up with terms like ‘indentured servants’ to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle... It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts,” wrote Mr Martin.

He also claims that Irish women and young girls were forced to breed with African males to produce a ‘mulatto’ slave of a different complexion. "

Thursday 23 January 2014

Jack Corridan...Indiana Hall of Fame 2014

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Dennis Corridan of Texas recently informed me of a wonderful and proud Family Event. His uncle John "Jack" Corridan is being inducted and honoured for his sporting achievements.
He will be accompanied on the night with his Dad George who is Jack's brother. No doubt Jack's proud Family will also be there namely Patrick "Kelly", Andrew "Shawn" and Timothy along with their Spouses and Children.

Jack, George and their two sisters Helen and Mary were the children of Thomas"ike" Corridan, son of Patrick Corridan (Mary mayme O'Brien) , son of Joseph Corridan(Mary o' Flaherty) who were married in Duagh in 1832.

Hoping you all have a fantastic time.

I look forward to receiving a few photos of the event!!


Jack Corridan - Terre Haute Wiley
The site  of "red-headed" Jack Corridan running daily to and from his home on Crawford Street in Terre Haute, to St Patrick’s Elementary School was common. When he entered Wiley High School, he traveled the same route only more than a half mile farther. Corridan put that experience to work in high school, finishing second in the mile run in 1942 and winning the Indiana state meet in the event with a record time of 4:24.4 in 1943.  That time bettered the existing mark by nearly two full seconds.  Corridan’s record stood for 6 years.
Corridan earned a track scholarship to Georgia Tech but his collegiate career was interrupted by service in World War II. When he returned to school he ran the 400-meter hurdles in addition to the distance events.
Corridan was so modest and unassuming that he did not share his many athletic successes with his children.  Jack Corridan died in Blairsville, Ga., age 80, in February of 2005.