Professor Willie Nolan gave a very interesting talk in Bookworm, Liberty Square, Thurles recently at the launch of Frances A. Corcoran’s From Clonoulty to Boorowa. Thomas and Hanorah Corcoran’s descendants in Australia. During the talk he spoke of genealogy being a bedwork subject which charts the history of the individual families which make up the nation states and great continents.
Here is what he had to say:
“It is indeed a pleasure to be here this evening in John Butler’s Bookworm to give an Irish christening to Frances A. Corcoran’s meticulously researched history of her own family and its nineteenth century antecedents from Clonoulty in the county of Tipperary. In my own work I have focused on the political exiles transported from Ireland in 1848/9 to what was then Van Diemen’s Land, now Tasmania. Along the way I have been privileged to meet and share ideas with a number of Australian historians such as Richard Davis, Bob Reece, David Fitzpatrick, Richard Reid, John Molony, Portia Robinson, Perry McIntyre and Jennifer Harrison. Therefore, it is appropriate that I can now add the name of Frances A. Corcoran to that distinguished group.
“Genealogy like geology is a bedrock subject. It charts the history of individual families who collectively form nation states and great continents. John McGahern, the novelist, referred to Irish families as ‘independent republics’ each with their own origin theories, memory banks and self- government. Like the nation state, families have beginnings and different stages in their evolution through time. The collection of photographs and illustrations from family and state archives in From Clonoulty to Borrowa marks the journeys of the Corcoran-Hennessy family from Ireland to Australia, their settling down process, and gradual assimilation to their new worlds.
Full story on pg 7 of this week’s Tipperary Star.