They were in a desperate search to make a living.
"... They were in a desperate search to make a living. They did not have the education to go in to business on any high level and they did not have the capitol to become farmers. They were left only with menial low paying jobs that were not going to lead to any degree of affluence in industry commerce or agriculture. The only legitimate route open to them was politics. This is the real key to the American Irish. Most of our immigrants came to our shores in search of freedom or of the right to practice their own religion or to take advantage of economic opportunities for which they were already prepared. The Irish like, my great grandfather, came here because they wanted a square meal. There was no way of getting it except by taking over governmental agencies. In doing so, however, they not only seized power, but put the stamp of Irish ethos on it. They were pragmatic a group of men and women who thought of Government as a means of making a living rather then a vehicle for promoting an ideology. They cared little about the so called substantive issues, but a lot about the plight of the people who were hard up" George Reedy