Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Carrigan, Courigan, Corrigan, Currigan and Carrocan, this is an Irish surname of great antiquity. Deriving from the Gaelic form of O' Corragain, the name like many Irish surnames is a form of descriptive nickname. It translates as "The descendant of the kin of Corra", the latter being an early pre 7th century baptismal name meaning "Spear". This was originally a name given to either a mighty soldier or hunter, both being equally popular in the ancient mythology of the country. It is said that the clan or sept, as it is usually known, belongs to the same grouping as the Maguires, both have lost the "O" prefix and both are mainly associated with Ulster, at least in origin, although widely scattered, the town of Ballycorrigan being situated in County Tipperary. Indeed these two "names" probably gave the English administration of Ireland more trouble than any other, which is strange as the original nameholders were reputed to be "men of the cloth". Sadly most early Irish records were destroyed in 1622 during the Irish Civil War, when the IRA in an act of typical mindless vandalism set fire to the Public Records office in Dublin. The early surviving recordings include such eminent persons as Sir Dominic Corrigan MD, (1802 - 1880), an eminent physician in Dublin, and the Rev. Michael Corrigan (1839 - 1902) Archbishop of New York. The first known recording is beliebved to be that of Gillan O' Corragain, the abbot of Willin, county Fermanagh, in 1534.
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