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Paddy Hannan

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Patrick Hannan (known affectionately as Paddy Hannan) was born in Quin, County Clare, Ireland in approx 1843.

At the age of 20 he came to Australia and worked for some years on various gold diggings at Ballarat and Bendigo. He then mined in New Zealand for years, returning to Australia to prospect in New South Wales and Southern Cross. Today, there is a shaft a little distance out of Southern Cross which is known as Paddy Hannan’s Shaft.

When Bayley and Ford found and reported their rich discovery at Coolgardie on September 17 1892, Hannan and his friend, Tom Flanagan, travelled to the new find and took up claims on one of the gullies of Coolgardie. This venture was not very successful.

In June 1893, news of the Mt Youle rush resulted in a general exodus from Coolgardie. Included in this were Hannan, Flanagan and Daniel Shea.

At a point 25 miles to the east they were delayed, and during their enforced stay they found gold in the small gullies close to the findings which are now called Mt Charlotte, Hannan’s Hill and Mt Gledden.  The story is told that they pretended to lose a horse and stayed behind to search for him.

On the 17 June, Hannan rode back to Coolgardie to register the new find and to apply for a reward claim, taking with him about 100 ounces of gold nuggets.

His arrival at Coolgardie caused intense excitement and nearly the entire population of the town packed up to move to the new find. It was not thought to be much at first, but things improved a great deal after discoveries were made a mile or so further south.

Neither Hannan nor his friend realised that they had found one of the major gold fields in Australia.

There is much more information on Paddy Hannon at www.clarelibrary.ie 

Several of his sisters and brothers also travelled to Australia - he spent his last days with a sister Mrs Lynch in Brunswick.

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