Working hard for injured workers across Pennsylvania

Michael O´Connor

Echoes of the past linger amidst thick black coal dust in an old anthracite drift mine. The clank of rusted iron shackles does not erode the memories of struggles and sacrifices endured by determined anthracite labor organizers in the 1860s and 1870s. The shackles once worn by a fearless leader are indeed a remnant linkingthepasttothepresent. Entrenchedin this early labor movement history, Michael J. O'Connor revels in the legacy left behind by the Molly Maguires; a group of anthracite pioneers who fought to improve working conditions in coal mines and to end Irish exploitation. In a 1995 mock jury trial using modern day standards of due process, O'Connor successfully defended “Black Jack” Kehoe, dubbed "the King of the Mollies", who fatefully wore the infamous shackles prior to his 1877 execution for the alleged crime of conspiracy to kill.  Read more....