Dan is an immigrant from Ireland. He is about the same age as John and they share the same political views.
In spite of his experience as a miner back home, he has to work as a labourer in the Lan because he is not trusted by the other miners – they believe the Irish undercut wages and force the Welsh out of work. He is more serious than John. As a Fenian, he has seen trouble in Ireland, where the pits are closing and people are forced to travel to Wales illegally in the holds of empty coal ships. Dan encourages John to make a difference and their relationship lies at the heart of the story. He loses his life in the Lan disaster and dies in John’s arms.