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Irish Cultural Center seeks descendants of Patrick Condon

Posted 10/26/22

The Irish Cultural Center of the Mohawk Valley is searching for descendants of Paidraig Cundun, known locally as Patrick Condon.

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Irish Cultural Center seeks descendants of Patrick Condon

Posted

UTICA — The Irish Cultural Center of the Mohawk Valley is searching for descendants of Paidraig Cundun, known locally as Patrick Condon.

A special lecture about Condon and his writings will be presented at the center on Nov. 10.

Condon was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1777. He was a farmer there, although times were difficult. In 1825, Patrick along with his wife Margaret and their four children — Pierce, Eileen, Kathleen, and Margaret — emigrated to the United States.

They ended up in the Utica area, as Patrick had cousins who had emigrated from Ireland and lived there. Farm land was cheap, there was a Catholic Church, as well as a school for the children — these were all the reasons Patrick and Margaret Condon decided to settle in Deerfield. There, Patrick was a successful farmer. He died in 1857 and is buried in St. Agnes Cemetery in Utica. His headstone has recently been up-righted and cleaned.

Patrick never learned English, speaking only in his native Irish language. He wrote stories, letters and poems in Irish and sent them to family and friends back in Ballymadoca, County Cork, Ireland. These letters were often an expression of his longing for Ireland as well as expressing his fondness for his new-found home. Many of the letters described what it may have been like for the Irish immigrant during the mid-19th century in the Mohawk Valley.

Condon’s writings were found and have become of great interest to many Irish historians and writers. Tony O’Flynn, a professor at Mary Immaculate College, Thurles campus, recently completed his doctoral thesis on the writings of Patrick Condon.

O’Flynn will be presenting a Zoom program at the Irish Cultural Center of the Mohawk Valley on Nov. 10. He will speak about the extensive research he has done on Patrick Condon, his life in both Ireland and Utica, Condon’s view on his life in the United States, and the significance of his writings.

O’Flynn would like to know if there are some descendants of Patrick Condon and would like to meet them on his next trip to the U.S.

Those who are a descendant of Condon’s, or know someone who might be, should contact Michael Hoke at irishccmv@gmail.com or call 315-827-4291.

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