From the 1910s through the 1960s era, the Irish mob was a viable entity. The top leaders were most often identified as Edward (Eddie) McGrath and Cornelius (Connie) Noonan as his partner. Hughie Mulligan was a close top “lieutenant” of McGrath.
Their base strength lie in their control of the so-called “Pistol Local” — a union local of the International Longshoremen’s Assn., based on Manhattan’s Westside piers — ILA Local # 1730 and Local # 1826, at 265 West 14th Street in Manhattan.
Powerful ILA president Joe Ryan and Johnny O’Rourke were integral in helping the Irish crew maintain racket control over the West Side piers for decades.
This union was used as a base of operations of sorts for them and provided a great income off the many racket operations that emanated from it for decades.
These operations included kickbacks, extortions, coercion to use certain related companies, embezzlement of union funds, pier theft, and cargo hijacking.
Additional ancillary rackets of policy and loansharking on the docks and narcotics smuggling augmented their income.
Arsenal members were also prolific as thieves and active in major armed robberies.
An example was the notorious $305,000 bank robbery of the Woodside Bank in 1955. Italian and Irish hoods pulled together to commit this armed midday heist.
Frank Cocchiaro of the DeCavalcante mob, Irishman Johnny O’Connell, and others collaborated to make mob history.