The very first Irish in Denver came as miners, railroad workers, soldiers, and domestic servants. These workers, cogs of an expanding American industrial empire, later gave way to 20th-century politicians, priests, and business leaders who defined Irish respectability. Denver has always been a prominent stopping point for Irish patriots and cultural icons on their way to California. Former visitors include Oscar Wilde, Michael Davitt, Eamon de Valera, and Mary McAleese. Irish cultural institutions and businesses continue to flourish across Denver, which today boasts of having the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the nation.
About the Author
Denver native Dennis Gallagher, Denver’s auditor, is son of Ellen Flaherty Gallagher and William Gallagher, a Denver firefighter. Dennis served 24 years in the Colorado Legislature and eight years on city council. Thomas Jacob Noel is a professor at the University of Colorado Denver, an author or coauthor of 40 books and articles, and appears as “Dr. Colorado” on Channel 9’s Colorado & Company. James Patrick Walsh, author of Michael Mooney and the Leadville Irish, also teaches at the University of Colorado Denver and Regis University and is the founder of the Romero Theater Troupe, which brings nontraditional, social justice–related history to the general public.
Table of Contents
1 Gold, Guns, and Gandy Dancers: Hibernians in Early Colorado 1
2 Keeping the Faith: The Irish Catholic Church 23
3 Hibernians and Fenians: Irish Festivals and Nationalist Organizations 33
4 Wet and Dry Goods: Hibernian Entrepreneurs 41
5 Green Collar Solidarity: Irish Labor Leaders 57
6 Daughters of Erin: Irish Women in Colorado 71
7 Get Out the Vote: Denver's Irish Politicians 83
8 Visitors from the Old Sod: Prominent Visitors from Ireland 93
9 Ongoing Irish Traditions: Onward and Upward 105
10 St. Patrick's Day Parade: Denver's Annual Spring Ritual 177