IRISH-IN-CHICAGO-L ArchivesArchiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2008-01 > 1201022509
From: Catherine Sherry <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] That Corrigan Man---our lunch at Irish Bistro
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 12:21:49 -0500
Sounds like the afternoon was great! So sorry to have missed it, but I
appreciate your "minutes." I'll have to ask my dad about Fr. Dorney. My dad
grew up in St. Gabe's parish, so perhaps he has some stories of his own.
Looking forward to other's observations!
On 1/22/08 9:24 AM, "Nan Brennan" <> wrote:
> Well on the coldest weekend of the year 17 of our members bundled up
> and blew in¹ to the Irish Bistro for lunch.
> From the wide Chicago area, Lorell and Gary Abrell, Donna, Elaine
> Beaudoin, Nan Brennan, Jack Clerkin, Brian Donovan, Bill ³Green
> River² King, Judy Mason, Maureen Neidle, Kathleen Richmond, Ruth
> Rooney, Ellen McQuillan Zagozdon,. Trekking by train and bus from
> Milwaukee, because she just loves Chicago, was native Iowan, Mary Kay
> Kuhfiting, and Annette Oehler and her ³genealogist widower² husband
> Mike O¹Donnell drove down from Michigan. Mike was probably happy
> for the freezing cold weather, because Annette didn¹t entreat him to
> stop at any cemeteries on the way down.. Ruth Rooney had quite a
> haul, tooby train from Woodstock. And of course, ³That Corrigan
> Man², the subject and object of our hunt! We probably spent a good
> hour mixing and mingling. Good craic! including plenty of ³What
> Parish Are You From²! That was a lot of fun. We were all ³old
> friends² before we took a bite. (of food she means!) It was a great
> bunch at a great brunch!
> I¹ll be interested in hearing your ³reviews² of the restaurant; I
> thought it was a suitable choice.
> Mrs. Murphy¹s Irish Bistro is a handsome and comfortable place. We
> had a small private room on the second floor, and our own waiter,
> Jeff, who was very affable and attentive. The brunch menu had a nice
> range to select from. My entree was quite good: home made corned
> beef hash and poached eggs on English muffin with a side of fresh
> fruit. The prices were very reasonable. Jaime, the manager, and
> Jeff both said how excited the staff was in anticipation of our
> arrival, and how pleased they were that ³this Irish group² chose
> them. I thought they accommodated us with a warm hospitality. I¹ll
> definitely go there again.
> The best report of our luncheon on Sunday with John Corrigan will be
> the comments that come from all of you that attended.
> I hope you each join in the discussion and contribute your ideas and
> comments, and also fill in my omissions and correct any errors on my
> and most importantly, tell us what was most interesting to you.
> John says that it all started at the Corrigan family Chicago Irish
> Like many of us, John grew up in an ³ Attendance at Wakes Required²
> Chicago Irish Family.
> He had persistent memories of these funerals and the storytellers and
> their characters. John begins the chronicling of his pursuit of
> Chicago Irish history as a search for more interesting characters!
> Two newspaper stories, one about Father Dorney of St Gabriel¹s bold
> and energetic involvement in the life of the Chicago¹s stockyard
> community, and the other about the controversial Father Jeremiah
> Crowley and his battles with Bishop Muldoon that caused such a
> volatile and public crisis in the Chicago Catholic Church, were so
> compelling that John was ³hooked on history². He read all the
> Chicago Irish authors and much more. He completed a Masters Degree
> in History at DePaul University, taught Chicago Irish history at St
> Xavier¹s College, wrote a column for the Irish American, and became
> actively involved in several Chicago Irish organizations including
> the Chicago Celtic Council, the Midwest chapter of the American
> Committee for Irish Studies, the Chicago Irish Folklife Society. It
> was with this last group that he was editor of their newsletter,
> SCEAL. I¹ve read a few copies of this publication and they are a
> treasure. And of course the focus is on interesting Irish characters!
> People well known and some not of great celebrity, but all
> contributors to and builders of this city, it¹s churches, schools,
> unions, buildings, hospitals, public projects, government and
> politics, parades, organizations, clubs, societies and their purposes
> and events. I hope John will put these newsletters up on his website
> so many more can enjoy them and learn from them. During his talk on
> Sunday he spoke of AOH, COF and many more organizations and their
> activities through the years. At the turn of the century there were
> at least 148 Irish groups and organizations in Chicago.
> Early on John recognized that the remnants of records of many groups
> and organizations and events were sparse to non-existent and that the
> information of a complete and accurate history of the Irish in
> Chicago was lacking. He also in reading different papers reporting
> of the same event found vastly different accounts of the same
> events. He has been reading and indexing Chicago newspapers for
> almost 30 years. And he continues. Papers he has read and indexed
> include the Irish Weekly, the Citizen, the Chicago Citizen, the
> Interocean, the Chicago Chronicle, the New World, the South Side
> Sun. He is currently also indexing Chicago Election Registers.
> Several Chicago writers have utilized his research in the writing of
> their books. John has compiled over 20,000 records. All of this
> because he believes ³ every Irish American Family has played some
> part in the community and its growth², and that the story of the
> Irish in Chicago should be told.
> Now what will he do with them? ! His website is under development
> and so are his future plans for writing and for lecturing. His
> knowledge and body of research is remarkable. I¹m grateful we had
> this opportunity to meet and learn from John Corrigan. He¹s a
> treasure! Thank you John!
> And thank all of you for making it possible with your interest and
> your attendance.
> Now let¹s hear from the rest of you
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