Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2008-01 > 1201233899

From: Nan Brennan <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] That Corrigan Man---our lunch at Irish Bistro
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 22:04:59 -0600
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In-Reply-To: <>

Dear Ellen,

I was personally very glad to meet you and happy that you attended
our lunch. And I really appreciate your feedback to the list on your
experience. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

And your comments, in giving such a warm and engaging picture of our
gathering, will serve to encourage and energize others of our list
members to join us at future events. Thank you for the pep talk and
boost, Ellen!

Very interesting about you and the other nurses at the luncheon…….now
there’s another wonderful and important Chicago Irish story----the
role of the Irish nurse, going all the way back to Mother McAuley

“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. “

Ellen you are so right, and I’m hoping that John’s meeting with us
and his reconnecting with Brian Donovan of IAHC at our lunch, will
inspire and motivate John to do more lecturing “around town” in the
Irish heritage circuit. Before I left I encouraged both of them to
think about doing this and maybe IAHC would be a suitable venue.
We’ll see.

I’m glad you had a great time and thanks for your part in making it a
great time.

All the best,
On Jan 24, 2008, at 5:40 AM, wrote:

> Nan,
> 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 <>
> To:
> 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
> art,
> nd most importantly, tell us what was most interesting to you.
> John says that it all started at the Corrigan family Chicago Irish
> akes!
> 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……
> Nan
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