Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2008-01 > 1201174827

Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] That Corrigan Man---our lunch at Irish Bistro
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 06:40:27 -0500
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I had a great time on Sunday!  It was wonderful to finally meet you and some of the other listers and put faces to your online personalities.  We had some great talks at lunch, found some common ground between us (other than our love of all things Irish!) and shared some genealogy stories.  Coincidentally, a few of us who are nurses ended up sitting w/ each other.  And Donna and I found out we live blocks from each other and drove home together.

I really enjoyed the restaurant, my brunch skillet was very good.  I have told several people at work about Murphy's and do plan on returning. 

As for John Corrigan, couldn't you just listen to him talk all day?  Watching him as he spoke, you just knew he had so many stories and so much history at his disposal.  It was fascinating.  I didn't know anything about Frs. Dorney and Crowley, but their place in Chicago Irish history intrigues me, and I plan to find out more.  The bonus was receiving the Sceals.  I felt honored to receive them!

I have not traced any of my ancestors back to parishes in Ireland; I only know the Counties.  So I have neither the experience nor the expertise that so many of our fellow listers do.  Still, I found that our experiences were quite varied and that all were welcomed.  To my fellow listers who may be hesitant to join an outing like this, come.  You will enjoy it and will learn something new!

As you can all tell, I had a wonderful time.

Ellen McQuillan Zagozdon

-----Original Message-----
From: Nan Brennan <>
Sent: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 8:24 am
Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] That Corrigan Man---our lunch at Irish Bistro

Well on the coldest weekend of the year 17 of our members ‘bundled up
nd blew in’ to the Irish Bistro for lunch.
>From the wide Chicago area, Lorell and Gary Abrell, Donna, Elaine
eaudoin, Nan Brennan, Jack Clerkin, Brian Donovan, Bill “Green
iver” King, Judy Mason, Maureen Neidle, Kathleen Richmond, Ruth
ooney, Ellen McQuillan Zagozdon,. Trekking by train and bus from
ilwaukee, because she just loves Chicago, was native Iowan, Mary Kay
uhfiting, and Annette Oehler and her “genealogist widower” husband
ike O’Donnell drove down from Michigan. Mike was probably happy
or the freezing cold weather, because Annette didn’t entreat him to
top at any cemeteries on the way down.. Ruth Rooney had quite a
aul, too—by train from Woodstock. And of course, “That Corrigan
an”, the subject and object of our hunt! We probably spent a good
our mixing and mingling. Good craic! including plenty of “What
arish Are You From”! That was a lot of fun. We were all “old
riends” before we took a bite. (of food she means!) It was a great
unch at a great brunch!
I’ll be interested in hearing your “reviews” of the restaurant; I
hought it was a suitable choice.
rs. Murphy’s Irish Bistro is a handsome and comfortable place. We
ad a small private room on the second floor, and our own waiter,
eff, who was very affable and attentive. The brunch menu had a nice
ange to select from. My entree was quite good: home made corned
eef hash and poached eggs on English muffin with a side of fresh
ruit. The prices were very reasonable. Jaime, the manager, and
eff both said how excited the staff was in anticipation of our
rrival, and how pleased they were that “this Irish group” chose
hem. I thought they accommodated us with a warm hospitality. I’ll
efinitely go there again.
The best report of our luncheon on Sunday with John Corrigan will be
he comments that come from all of you that attended.
hope you each join in the discussion and contribute your ideas and
omments, and also fill in my omissions and correct any errors on my
nd most importantly, tell us what was most interesting to you.
John says that it all started at the Corrigan family Chicago Irish
ike many of us, John grew up in an “ Attendance at Wakes Required”
hicago Irish Family.
e had persistent memories of these funerals and the storytellers and
heir characters. John begins the chronicling of his pursuit of
hicago Irish history as a search for more interesting characters!
wo newspaper stories, one about Father Dorney of St Gabriel’s bold
nd energetic involvement in the life of the Chicago’s stockyard
ommunity, and the other about the controversial Father Jeremiah
rowley and his battles with Bishop Muldoon that caused such a
olatile and public crisis in the Chicago Catholic Church, were so
ompelling that John was “hooked on history”. He read all the
hicago Irish authors and much more. He completed a Masters Degree
n History at DePaul University, taught Chicago Irish history at St
avier’s College, wrote a column for the Irish American, and became
ctively involved in several Chicago Irish organizations including
he Chicago Celtic Council, the Midwest chapter of the American
ommittee for Irish Studies, the Chicago Irish Folklife Society. It
as with this last group that he was editor of their newsletter,
CEAL. I’ve read a few copies of this publication and they are a
reasure. And of course the focus is on interesting Irish characters!
eople well known and some not of great celebrity, but all
ontributors to and builders of this city, it’s churches, schools,
nions, buildings, hospitals, public projects, government and
olitics, parades, organizations, clubs, societies and their purposes
nd events. I hope John will put these newsletters up on his website
o many more can enjoy them and learn from them. During his talk on
unday he spoke of AOH, COF and many more organizations and their
ctivities through the years. At the turn of the century there were
t least 148 Irish groups and organizations in Chicago.
Early on John recognized that the remnants of records of many groups
nd organizations and events were sparse to non-existent and that the
nformation of a complete and accurate history of the Irish in
hicago was lacking. He also in reading different papers reporting
f the same event found vastly different accounts of the same
vents. He has been reading and indexing Chicago newspapers for
lmost 30 years. And he continues. Papers he has read and indexed
nclude the Irish Weekly, the Citizen, the Chicago Citizen, the
nterocean, the Chicago Chronicle, the New World, the South Side
un. He is currently also indexing Chicago Election Registers.
everal Chicago writers have utilized his research in the writing of
heir books. John has compiled over 20,000 records. All of this
ecause he believes “ every Irish American Family has played some
art in the community and its growth”, and that the story of the
rish in Chicago should be told.
Now what will he do with them? ! His website is under development
nd so are his future plans for writing and for lecturing. His
nowledge and body of research is remarkable. I’m grateful we had
his opportunity to meet and learn from John Corrigan. He’s a
reasure! Thank you John!
nd thank all of you for making it possible with your interest and
our attendance.
Now let’s hear from the rest of you……

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