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A Criminal and An Irishman

The Inside Story of the Boston Mob - IRA Connection

A Criminal and An Irishman Buy Now
Format Paperback Ebook
ISBN 978-1-58642-122-9 978-1-58642-183-0
Published Mar 27, 2007
Imprint Steerforth Press
Biography & Memoir True Crime

A former rival and associate of Whitey Bulger tells all in this “profane, often brutal” true crime memoir about the inner workings of life in the Irish mob (The Boston Herald)

After serving in Vietnam as a combat Marine, Irishman Pat Nee returned to the gang-filled streets of Boston. A member of the Mullen Gang since the age of 14, Nee rejoined the group to lead their fight against Whitey Bulger’s Killeen brothers. Years later, the two gangs merged to form the Winter Hill Gang, at first led by Howie Winter and then by Bulger. But by the time Bulger took over, a wide rift had opened up between the infamous crime boss and Pat Nee, who was disgusted by Bulger’s brutality.

A Criminal and an Irishman is the story of Pat Nee’s life as an Irish immigrant and Southie son, a Marine and convicted IRA gun smuggler, and a former rival-turned-associate of James “Whitey” Bulger. His narrative transports readers into the criminal underworld, taking them inside preparation for armored car heists, gang wangs, and revenge killings. Nee details his evolution from tough street kid to armed robber to dangerous potential killer, disclosing for the first time how he used his underworld connections as a secret operative for the Irish Republican Army. For years, Pat smuggled weapons and money from the United States to Ireland—in the bottoms of coffins, behind false panels of vans—leading up to a transatlantic shipment of seven and a half tons of munitions aboard the fishing trawler Valhalla. No other Southie underworld figure can match Pat’s reputation for resolve and authenticity.


A profane, often brutal memoir . . . Nee maintained an uneasy alliance with Bulger while pursuing his personal cause—raising money and smuggling weapons for the Irish Republican Army.”

The Boston Herald

Nee commits some horrible crimes, from attempted murder to armed robbery. Yet even as he chases someone with a rifle through South Boston, he's the sort of guy you want to root for . . . Scenes in which Nee interacts with his parents or siblings are most touching. He’s a good son, a bit of a smart-aleck and a fine drinking buddy as well as a gunrunner and would be assassin.”

The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune


"Not one account in this book is taken from a newspaper article, a police report, or somebody else’s ‘gangster’ book. Everything detailed in this book I have either done, seen done, or heard about from the person who did it. Most reporters and authors who write Southie gangster books use CIs – confidential informers – as sources. However, seldom is the majority of information compiled by these sources correct information. Confidential informers are self-serving criminals who lie. This book is different from other books on the Boston Irish mob or any other ‘Whitey/Southie’ crime book. If my recollections don’t match those in some other book by some other criminal, I don’t care. My memory is not perfect. This is my life as I remember it. And I’m comfortable with that." – Author’s Note, Patrick Nee

About the Authors

Patrick Nee

At fourteen Patrick Nee became associated with the gang that would later battle Whitey Bulger for rights to Southie’s criminal activities. A Marine veteran of Vietnam, Pat helped the Irish Republican Army smuggle money, guns, and munitions out of the United States. He served nearly two years in prison for the Valhalla smuggling operation, received early parole, then promptly attempted to rob an armored car in order to raise funds for the IRA. He served nine years for this later conviction, and today he works as a day laborer and spends time with his two daughters and grandchildren. He lives in South Boston.

Richard Farrell

Richard Farrell won the du Pont—Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism for his film High on Crack Street. He covered the war in Bosnia, has directed several award-winning films, and has written articles for the Boston Globe and numerous other publications. He lives in southern New Hampshire.

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