Friday, April 01, 2005

Beckett and Joyce

Of all the legendary Irish gangs in the first half of the 20th century, none were more feard than the Beckett-Joyce Gang. Though they were well known to be the co-leaders, and many of their crimes well-known to both police and public, police were never able to bring charges against either one of them.

Samuel Beckett, aka Little Sammy Beckett, aka Quiet Sam, aka The Waiter, was the one who was most feared. He said very little, but his henchmen, Molloy, Malone, Murphy, Watt, and others always knew what to do to carry out his heinous orders. All he had to do was raise an eyebrow in a certain way, and his order was understood. Both Molloy and Malone were in and out of prison for years for their roles in the nefarious deeds ordered by Beckett. In fact all of the gang members spent a good portion of their lives being incarcerated for their crimes. While some were in jail, others were always out. There seemed to be no way to put the kibosh on the organization.

The two most feared members were the enforcers. Nobody ever knew the name of one of them. They just called him The Unnamable. A sigh of relief was heard throughout Ireland when he finally died. Whether of natural or unnatural causes, we'll never know. The other, the most feared member of either gang, was the one no one had ever even seen. Rumor has it Beckett had never even seen him. We know his name though; Godot. We don't even know if Godot still alive after all of these years. If he is, he's a very old man.

Joyce, aka Little Jimmy, aka Big Jim, aka The Patch, aka Singing Jim, aka Wandering Jim, aka Steve, had his own henchmen, scum of the earth, like Nosey Flynn, Corny Kelleher, and J. J. O'Malloy (who disappeared they say, at the order of Joyce. Why? We don't know) and their molls, Gertie MacDowell, Cissy Caffrey, and the mysterious Martha Clifford. Joyce also had his inner circle, the men closest to him, Buck Mulligan, aka The Doctor, and another character no one has ever seen and doesn't have a name. We know him only from his description; The Man in the Macintosh. Then there was his mouthpiece, Leopold.

Unlike Beckett, Joyce was afraid of dogs. One of Joyce's first orders upon rising to the top of the gang was the removal of a dog, Garryowen. When Joyce gave the order, "Throwaway", that's what happened to the poor innocent dog. That also happened to rival gang members, most notably Blazes Boylan, who was found thrown away down by the shore with a bar of soap stuffed into his mouth.

Beckett and Joyce both got their start in Oscar Wilde's Bunch, the most feared criminal organization before those two teamed up. Oscar, aka Ernest, and his partner, Dorian aka The Picture, were captured by some determined police work and were removed from the street. This of course only served to make room for the much more dangerous and despicable Beckett-Joyce Gang.

More about how they ran their gang will discussed in a later post.

Copyright 2005 the Garbanzo Press

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