Michael "Mickey" McGinnes
Birth place: County Wicklow, Ireland
Status: Alive
Also known as: Mickey, Mick, balls
Occupation: Former boxer
Former entertainer
Proprietor of Phoenix Saloon
Mayor of Cheyenne
Marital status: Single
Relatives: Sean McGinnes - brother, deceased

Dandy Johnny Shea - cousin, deceased

Behind the scenes
Portrayed by: Phil Burke
Seasons: 1, 2, 3, 4 ,5
First episode: "Pilot"
Last episode: "The Elusive Eden"
Appearances: 50 episodes (see below)

Mickey McGinnes is a businessman and entertainer looking to make money in Nebraska with his brother Sean McGinnes. The two of them owned and operated a magic lantern show when they first got to Hell on Wheels.


Background informationEdit

According to Sean McGinnes, Mickey was born with twelve toes. Mickey is from County Wicklow, Ireland, where he left four brothers and his mother. His father worked the land in Ireland and is now deceased.

When he and Sean were children, they stowed away on the Dublin Special, never feeling so free in all their lives. Mickey gives this experience to Thomas Durant as the reason that he and Sean join the Union Pacific Railroad.

While living in Boston, Mickey and Sean had some trouble, though they do not speak of the incident without great reluctance, especially on Mickey's part.

Season 1Edit

Main article: Season 1

Sean and Mickey take a westbound train, reading a newspaper story about a Union soldiers' murder in Washington D.C. and meeting Cullen Bohannon, the murderer, though no one knows this. As it turns out, all three men are headed to the Hell on Wheels railroad construction site. On arrival the two brothers establish a nostalgic picture show business. ("Pilot")

Mickey comes to Hell on Wheels with Sean, looking to make their fortune. They quickly set up shop with the magic lantern show with an ideal spot "between the liquor and the whores". ("Immoral Mathematics")

Season 3Edit

Main article: Season 3

Mickey is now the saloonkeeper of the newly renamed Phoenix Saloon (formerly the Starlight) and the pimp in charge of the whorehouse. He and Sean's relationship is strained and the two are rarely seen together. When one of his girl's, Sara becomes ill with "whore's sickness", he is anxious to expel her from the premise, worried her screaming will drive away customers. He is not without kindness, as he had been letting Sara stay for free. ("Range War")

When Sean becomes mixed up in the death of Senator Nathan Metcalf, a murder Durant committed, Mickey reluctantly helps Sean dispose of the body, though he tells Sean he never wants to see him again. ("Cholera")

Dangerous Country Ahead (Spoiler Alert):
Plot details from a recent episode to follow.

Mickey again attempts to turn Sean away after his brother becomes nervous when a lawman begins nosing around Metcalf's disappearance. Sean tells Mickey that he's going to turn himself in, though Mickey reminds him that will also implicate Mickey. When Sean is not disuaded from his path, Mickey follows Sean to the church tent, where Sean would be confessing to Ruth Cole. As Sean begins to talk about an event involving Sean, Mickey, and two girls, Mickey shoots Sean. He then tries to claim, to both Ruth and the lawman investigating Metcalf's disappearance, that Sean had killed before in Boston, which the lawman confirms. ("It Happened in Boston"

Season 4Edit

Main article: Season 4


Season 1 appearances
"Pilot" "Immoral Mathematics" "A New Birth of Freedom" "Jamais Je Ne T'oublierai" "Bread and Circuses"
"Pride, Pomp and Circumstance" "Revelations" "Derailed" "Timshel" "God of Chaos"
Season 2 appearances
"Viva La Mexico" "Durant, Nebraska" "Slaughterhouse" "Scabs" "The Railroad Job"
"Purged Away with Blood" "The White Spirit" "The Lord's Day" "Blood Moon" "Blood Moon Rising"
Season 3 appearances
"Big Bad Wolf" "Eminent Domain" "Range War" "The Game" "Searchers"
"One Less Mule" "Cholera" "It Happened in Boston" "Fathers and Sins" "Get Behind the Mule"
Season 4 appearances
"The Elusive Eden" "Escape from the Garden" "Chicken Hill" "Reckoning" "Life's a Mystery"
"Bear Man" "Elam Ferguson (Episode)" "Under Color of Law" "Two Trains" "Return to Hell"
"Bleeding Kansas" "Thirteen Steps" "Further West"
Season 5 appearances
"Chinatown" "Mei Mei" "White Justice" "Struck" "Elixir of Life"
"Hungry Ghosts" "False Prophets" "Two Soldiers" "Return to the Garden" "61 Degrees"
"Gambit" "Any Sum Within Reason" "Railroad Men" "Done"

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