Emergence of the Irish Mob in the United States

New York’s streets were in mayhem caused by some notorious Irish mob gangs such as the ‘The Westies’. Howe Winter of Boston’s Northend led ‘Winter Hill Gang’ was also equally dreaded. A dangerous mobster named Whitey Bulger had not just infiltrated the RBI ranks, but also is considered to be at large, being on the most wanted list of the FBI. ‘The Westies’ infamous leader, Jimmy Coonan had become a legendary,  who as a teenager had stood at the tenement building’s top and fired at Mickey Spillane, the rival gang leader indiscriminately and his men. They were all considered to be the most feared of all criminal Irish men living in America.

The Irish Mob’s origin

The Irish immigrants had entered American city with a hope to make it big. However, upon arrival they lacked the necessary infrastructure and also not welcomed by the city. Hence, they had to fall back to tribal cohesiveness, which their rural communities had governed way back in Ireland. This is how their problem had been addressed to, for taking care of the survival requirements. Although they lacked in status as new comers, it was their strength in numbers, which worked towards their advantage. This way, they could focus power on political level, through the Democratic Party.

Dominance towards developing trade

This political style became a prototype in New York with the Tammany Machine. Bosses Croker and Tweed oversaw the tightly controlled organizations, which offered favors in the form of social services, clothing, food, against votes. Once they got into power, for kick backs, they exchanged jobs. Patronage jobs largely were in construction and law enforcement, contributing to the Irish dominance in developing trades. During this time, the Irish stereotype police officer had become popular. Although eh machine organizations were noticed to be corrupt, they did offer the immigrant communities with necessary services.

Choosing the alternative path

Some immigrants had become cops to take care of their tough conditions, while many selected the alternative path to becoming a mob. The chaos resulting from the fast growing cities of the United States helped the Irish mob in making quick money. They relied upon their old community loyalty and family tradition, combined with rural terrorism. They also organized prostitution, gambling, protection rackets among urban immigrant communities.

Even after not achieving much success, they did survive to enter the 20th century. This mob operated in several cities, mostly in Chicago and Boston along with the Mafia families. With more Irish families slowly moving into middle class segments, the opportunities and support network that was once availed from the insular immigrant community was lost by the mob and it slowly died out.