A Story about the St Valentines Day Massacre

Last year when my Father passed away the family gathered around and gave me an opportunity to pump them for answers to questions I had about my grandfather.

My grandfather Charles Joseph Boyle* left Donegal, Ireland in the mid-1920's for reasons I suspect had to do with activities in opposition to the anti-treaty forces. I assume this because when my grandfather "passed gas" he would say "there is another kiss for De Valera!" in his Irish brough. That habit was passed down to the oldest grandson (me) until the nuns caught me and persuaded me to refrain from that epitaph. My grandfather was a citizen of the United States prior to his arrival because his father (my great-grandfather)Owen had emigrated to the US and became a citizen in 1880. For what ever reason he returned to Ireland, married and had children.

Grandpa kept up and in contact with some of his pals in the republic, but he left the "troubles" behind him. I suspect it was to keep the family safe.

When he arrived in the States he located in Chicago where he met my grandmother. At that time he had found a position driving for a certain gang boss as a driver. The story goes, (I originally was told this by my grandmother before she passed away) that my grandfather drove up to his house and invited grandma to take a ride. Nice cars were few and far between but my grandmother refused and told him to quit.

Grandpa being the dutiful husband returned to the boss and told him he would have to leave. The part of the story I did find out from my uncle, is that the "boss" said if it were anyone else he could only quit if he were killed.

Of course "the boss" was Bugs Moran. My grandmother didn't know it at the time but if she hadn't pressed my grandfather to quit. I wouldn't be writing this.


*People in Ireland still remember my grandfather at least until the late 1990's. My grandfather told us that his father gave him a new bicycle when he was a boy. My parents met a man who said he remembered my grandfather getting a new bicycle. A memory that lasted at least 80 years.

Grandpa was Baptized in Gweedore.

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