Monday, August 22, 2011

Irish Mob-opedia

I'm providing a link here to a Wikipedia article about the Irish Mob which is itself a reference hub, providing links to yet other sites. The article is comprehensive in an extremely skeletal kind of way, but it mentions Irish gangs that I've never heard of. Irish gangs in Canada (The West End Gang of Montreal), Australia, St. Louis (the colorfully named Egan's Rats), England (the clerkishly yclept Clerkenwell crime syndicate AKA The Adams Family AKA the A-Team), Birmingham, Alabama (some dude named "The General", though not the same as the Dublin one), Georgia (another dude called the Celtic Boss), Omaha, Minneapolis ("Dapper" Danny Hogan), Philadelphia (the K&A Gang) - and even a Boston bunch I'd never heard of, the Gustin Gang of the 1920's. These plus the usual suspects - the Winter Hill Gang, the Westies of Hell's Kitchen (I recall showing up to do some off-hours dirty work at a Twin Towers investment firm one Saturday circa 1990, wearing a leather jacket and jeans, and the boss said I looked like a Westie - which made me smile, which may not have been his intention), and the "Nucky" Johnson outfit in New Jersey on which Boardwalk Empire was based.

The site also lists the names of various movies and books that feature Irish gangs. Like Gangs of New York, the bizarre Daniel Day Lewis/Leo DiCaprio vehicle that completely whitewashed away the ugly racial overtones of the New York draft riots during the Civil War. Yes, indeed, Irish gangs go back that far. The article does not extend to the Old West, where many outlaws were of Irish descent - Billy the Kid himself was originally Billy McCarty from Brooklyn. Nor does it mention the Ned Kelly gang of 19th century Australia. No mention either of the granddaddy of all Irish mobs, the IRA. Ah, well. The plenitude of Irish and Scots-Irish criminality precludes full coverage, but this is nonetheless a worthy resource for the discerning crime buff. The Irish Mob page also includes a link to a "List of American mobsters of Irish descent". In my past life, I would have yearned to be included.

Irish Mob (Wikipedia)

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