2011 as every school child knows is the year of Pete Corridan. Lest school children or adult learners forget, the centennial of Corridan’s birth will be celebrated on June 15th of this year. I have remarked in the past on the wonderfully warm response of Irish-Americans from ‘around here’ to our stories of the waterfront priest and his hallowed terrain; it is far past time to acknowledge with joy and gratitude those Irish folk from ‘over there’ who have reminded me, as the late Pat Moynihan liked to put it, ‘there are some of us left.’ In fact and of course there are plenty of us left on both sides, and while it’s true I often find myself shame-faced for lack of intimate knowledge on Irish history, I am so grateful for ready access to some of the finest minds, souls and ambassadors of all things Irish. Thank you new friends; it is a joy.
We’ll be touting friend Sean’s forthcoming Irish-language film on Pete Corridan in days to come. In the meantime thanks Sean and Cyril for braving the quizzical response of customs officials in delivering this magnificent gift (Lisheenbawn marble from a site very near Corridan’s mother’s birthplace) from a mutual friend in Kerry; well a very good friend of Sean’s who I have met only via internet, but will surely meet around here before long. Thanks Damien; all the best to you and everyone in Pete’s native Kerry, plus a special shout out to all the Honan girls everywhere; from Clare to Jersey to North Florida, where the most spirited of all the Honan girls, my beloved cousin Mary (or “Marie” as she was know to my mom’s generation of Honan girls, all with roots in Cranny near Ennis), is so much in our prayers. The Irish waterfront was a richer place for your graced presence, dear Marie.