Monday 22 October 2018

Olive Corcoran

Champion rower who was in the first women's four to represent Ireland at the Home Internationals in 1972

Olive Corcoran, who died suddenly last month aged 58, was a champion rower and a pioneer in that sport. She was born in 1954, the baby of six children to John and Lucy Corcoran of Lally Road, Ballyfermot and attended school at the Sisters of Mercy in Goldenbridge, Inchicore.

Leaving school after her Intermediate Cert, she started her working life as a wages clerk. At the same time, she and some school friends joined Commercial rowing club in Islandbridge. Commercial had a very strong ladies' section and their ladies' fours was the first to represent Ireland at the Home Internationals in 1972, and Olive was a member of this crew.

Two years earlier in 1970, when she was a mere 16-year-old, Olive had been the fastest woman on the Dublin sculling ladder, the first year women took part.

Little did she realise that at 18 years of age she would accomplish two firsts in Irish women's rowing.

She retired from rowing soon afterwards and joined the Guinness athletic club, during the great period of female stars like Mary Purcell and Deirdre Nagle.

Soon afterwards, she emigrated to New York and spent two happy years there. She returned to Dublin in 1979 and joined the family business, Korky's Shoes, where she played a substantial role in ensuring its success.

She joined Kilternan Golf and Skiing Club, and was a very competent skier. She subsequently became a founder member of Old Conna Golf Club. She loved her golf and her many friends in Old Conna.

She died suddenly at her home in Sandymount on August 2. There was a service at St Mary's, Star of the Sea Church in Sandymount for Olive, the Star of the River. She is survived by her partner Brian and her brothers, sisters nieces, nephews and a wide circle of very loyal friends.

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