Patrick “Paddy” Hannan was baptised on 26 April 1840 in Quin, County Clare Ireland. Hannan was the son of John Hannan and Bridget Lynch. He emigrated to Australia in 1863.
Paddy was a gold prospector whose discovery on 17 June 1893 near Kalgoorlie, Western Australia set off a gold rush in the area and Kalgoorlie, originally called Hannan’s, was born.
Hannan found gold near Mount Charlotte, less than 40 kilometres from the Coolgardie Goldfields. Hannan, Flanagan and Shea were following a number of prospectors who headed off to Mount Yule, 60 km east of Coolgardie. Having waited in Coolgardie for supplies the three Irishmen moved off to follow the main body of prospectors three days later. Everyone had waited at Mount Charlotte for supplies and water before moving off further east, so the three Irishmen caught up to the prospectors.
On 10th June 1893, the night before the body of men moved out, Hannan and Flanagan found gold in a gully. Not wanting to cause a rush, they concealed their find. During the night they moved one of their horses into the scrub. The following morning Hannan informed the main party they were going to stay behind to “find their lost horse”. The main group moved off east and the three men started to pick up the gold. Having pegged out their lease, Hannan set off for Coolgardie to register the claim.
The concentrated area of large gold mines surrounding the original Hannan’s find is often referred to as the Golden Mile, and was sometimes referred to as the world’s richest square mile of earth.
In 1904, at the age of sixty-one, having prospected for all his adult life, Hannan was granted an annual pension of £150 by the Government of Western Australia. He ceased his prospecting activities in 1910, and moved to live with two nieces in 6 Fallon Street Brunswick, Melbourne. He died there in on 4 November 1925.
The principals behind Hannan Metals Ltd have an Australian origin, and given their focus on reviewing opportunities in Ireland, wanted to recognize the significant contribution Paddy Hannan made to the development of Western Australia, and Australia in general with his initial discovery of the Kalgoorlie gold field, one of the most significant gold finds ever made. RIP Paddy.