Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Corcoran's of Carlow

This article and photos previously appeared in the Nationalist.


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Photos and Adverts from the past.

Workers in Corcoran's Mineral Water Factory c.1936.

Back: J. Pender, Johnny Dowling, Patsy Donoghue, Tom Meaney, Johnny Ralph, Ger Donoghue, Jim Nolan, Paddy Haughney, Larry Nolan, P. L. Hogan, Jimmy Hourican. Middle: Pat Cox, Ned Nolan, Tom Haughney, Charlie O'Brien, J. Pender, Jim Nolan, John Cullen, Paddy Donoghue, Martin Scully, John Pender, Johnny Hogan, Paddy Haughney, John McAssey, John Nolan, Bill Comerford, Mick Butler, Jimmy Moore (foreman). Front: Barney Culliton, Mickey Farrell, Christy O'Brien, A. N. Other, Mick O'Byrne, John Alcock.

Source: (The Nationalist. Date unknown from the Nolan Newspaper cuttings provided by Mr. M Purcell.)

Corcoran Rangers c.1940s

John Walsh - St Killians Crescent, Jim Scully St Fiacc’s Terrace, Jim Moran - Sleaty St, Tom Whelan - Arles, Jim (Louie) Byrne - Maryboro St, Denis Byrne - The Numbers, Tony Byrne - The Numbers, Ed (Craan) Hogan - Castle Hill, Joe Hennessy - Chapel Street, Hugh F. Keating - St Fiacc’s Terrace, Joe Walsh - Church St, Eddie Brennan Sleaty St, Noel McAssey - The Numbers, M. Haughney - Ballinabranna, Tom Mulhall - St Patrick’s Ave, Tom Hennessy - Maryboro St, Oliver Kelly - Pollerton Road, Tom Kelly - Sleaty St.

Source: Anna Nolan Gough Graiguecullen (Facebook)

Corcoran Football c.1970's
Source: Pat Timmons Facebook

Corcoran Football Team Year ?
Back row; Paddy Myron, Mick Power, John Murphy,  Phil Brennan, Kieran Lawler, Mick Bowe, John Jackson, Des Hurley, John Core. Front; Seamus Nolan, Eddie Davis, Pa Jo Hogan RIP, Mick Woods, Mick Murphy, Pat Timmons, Davy Kane, Maurice (Knoxie) Nolan RIP, Pat Haughney. Source: Pat Timmons & Anna Nolan Gough Facebook

Corcoran Factory workers outing to Dublin c.1950s
Sent to Facebook by Cornelia McAssey.
Letter sent in 1930 to Messers W. & M Taylor, Ltd in Dublin.
Source: eBay seller
Corcoran's 1956

Corcoran advert found in the An Tostal Souvenir Booklet of 1953
Source: Grey Abbey Conservation Project Kildare

Corcoran's Can
Corcoran's employees of c.1970's
Source: Anna Nolan Gough.

Willie Dooley from St Marys Park operating the new bottle washing machine.
Source: Anna Nolan Gough. 
Corcoran's Float at a St. Patricks Day parade. Town unknown.
Source: Anna Nolan Gough.

Some of Corcoran's employees of 1971 celebrating their 150th year in business.
Source: Anna Nolan Gough.
Corcoran's employees of c.1960's
Source: Anne Glendon (Facebook).
Names from Michael Lyons. I see James Coakley, Con Haughney, Eddie Davis, Berto Kelly, Eamon Haugney, Paddy Kelly, Eddie Murphy, Wolf Hogan, Noel Murphy, Jimmy Lawler, Tony Farrell, Noel Alcock, John Jackson, John Core, Paddy Price to name a few.

Corcoran's employees of c.1980s
Michael Giffney, Michael Rossiter, Michael Folan, Joe Ryan, Hugh Governey, Jim McLoughlin, Tom Whelan, Tom Halpin, Paul Pratt, Noel Alcock, Jim Nolan, Paul Maguire, Dick Fros? and Michael O'Leary.


By S. O'Rourke

Published in The Nationalist & Leinster Times, Dec. 21, 1962

Photos: by Polaroid Camera)

Chargehand John Dooley at one of the ale conditioning tanks.
John Hayden, E. Hand and P. Dowling at a capping machine.
Gerald Fitzgerald at the Rola Beer Filler.
The late Mr. Robert Gough.
A group of factory employees.
The late Mr. Michael Governey.

The Late Michael Governey

Corcoran's Sales Team c.1990's

Usually when we speak of the "recipe for success" we are speaking figuratively. But when we think of Thomas Corcoran, the founder of Corcoran's Mineral Water Factory, the term has a more literal meaning. He, indeed, had the recipe for success; the secret of how to make top class mineral water refreshments.

When Thomas Corcoran built his factory in 1827, Carlow was a much different place than it is today. Thomas Corcoran was the owner of a bar and grocery near the river Barrow, and in his back garden he had a bubbling spring full of the purest and most sparkling water in the country.

Note April 2020: Corcorans Bar is the oldest original bar in Carlow Town. Located just before you cross the bridge to graiguecullen. The Bar offers a relaxing atmosphere and old world charm.

The first Corcoran mineral refreshments were made in an outhouse near the spring and were sold over the counter, bottled by Thomas Corcoran himself.

Today, one hundred and thirty-five years after the founding of the firm, Corcoran and Co. are one of the leading manufacturers of minerals in this country, as well as extensive wholesale beer bottlers and wine and spirit merchants. Nowadays the name Governey is the one which most people think of in connection with Corcoran's mineral waters.

This is not surprising, for since the 1870's, when young Michael Governey was an industrious apprentice in the then extended bar and grocery (he later married Thomas Corcoran's daughter), the Governey's have been at the helm of this enterprising and energetic firm.

Despite the great demands of business on his time and energies, the late Michael Governey managed to take a very active interest in the social welfare of the people of Carlow, and in the development of the town.

He was Chairman of Carlow's Urban Council, Chairman of the County Council, and Chairman of the Dublin Distillers. His chief aide for a number of years before his death was Robert Gough of Tullow Street, Carlow, who later took over in a managerial position when Michael Governey died and while the children were growing up.

In the early 1930's, the business had extended to such a degree that it was decided to form a limited company, the shares to be divided between the members of the family.

Walking through the factory today one cannot fail to be impressed by the gleaming machinery and the industrious workers, who feed the bottles to the mineral water and beer filling machines, guide them through the bottling, capping and packing processes, and finally pack them on to the Company's twenty lorries for dispatch to the shops and bars where they find such ready sale.

All year round the factory is busy. There is the ceaseless clacking of the bottling and labelling machines, the battallions of bottles being fed into the giant washers and the piled up thousands of packing cases in the enormous stores, which seem to be forever expanding.

The mineral products of the firm today are: Lemonade, Soda Water, Lemon Flavoured Soda, Stone Beer, the famed Castle Cola, Dry Ginger Ale, Ciderette, Tonic Water, Carlo Lemon, Grape Fruit, Orange and Orange Crush.

The processing and conditioning of pasteurised beer occupies a large area of the premises. There are a number of huge storage tanks and coolers, where the beer is held, having been pumped from the large tankers in which it is delivered.

Compared to the beer, mineral and ale sections, the whiskey and wine department has an atmosphere of perpetual calm. Here there is no noise from machinery and the wine is bottled in the same careful and traditional way which has been employed in wine cellars for countless years.

The firm employs a steady two hundred people and this number can increase by thirty to sixty in busy periods. Districts covered by deliveries include Carlow, Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Dublin and a portion of Westmeath, Cork and Limerick.

Although beer can be automatically bottled, crowned and labelled at the rate of 500 dozen bottles per hour, it has been found that at peak periods workers at these machines must go on shift work to supply the demand.

The demand for the beer, lager, cider etc. which is bottled by the Corcoran Firm has grown to such an extent that there are now plans to obtain new plant to handle 1,000 to 1,500 dozen bottles per hour.

Today the firm is under the expert guidance of the Joint Managing Directors, Mr. Patrick Governey and Mr. Francis Governey. Both men have devoted their lives to the business and have guided its expansion with wisdom and foresight.

The recipe for success which inspired Thomas Corcoran to start this industry in Carlow is today in the hands of equally able men. We feel sure that the success which crowned the efforts of the founder will continue to smile on this firm which has had the initiative and ability to stay on top for a hundred and thirty-five years.

This artical appeared in The Nationalist and Leinster Times Carlow, Ireland. on Friday, December 21, 1962.

Source: Michael Purcell

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