LEGENDARY entertainer Bing Crosby’s links to Schull have been speculated on for years, but now they’ve been confirmed beyond doubt by genealogist and local historian, Margaret Murphy of Skibbereen Heritage Centre.
Margaret has established that Bing’s grandfather Denis Harrigan born 1832 in New Brunswick, Canada was the twelfth child born to Denis Harrigan and Catherine Driscoll who married and raised the first of their family in Schull, prior to emigrating in the early 1830s.
Bing’s mother was second generation Irish. Catherine Helen Harrigan was born in 1873 to Denis Harrigan and Catherine Ahern.
‘While it is difficult to pinpoint the correct townland of Bing’s relatives in the parish of Schull, records do exist to confirm his Harrigan and Driscoll connection to the area,’ said Margaret.
She also pointed to ‘Harrigans Rocks’ in a cove in the townland of Derryleary as being another possible connection to the family.
Margaret carried out her research after a relative of Bing’s – Merlyn (Merle) Davies – visited the heritage centre last week to look up his Fitzgerald and Harrigan connections from Schull.
‘Merle and Bing Crosby share the same Harrigan line from Schull. He told me that his great grandmother was Harrigan, and Bing’s great grandmother was Harrigan, and they were sisters,’ said Margaret.