Character page for the Love/Hate RTE series.
Played by Robert Sheehan
- Anti-Hero: At best. When Rosie leaves him, he slides down to Nominal Hero, Designated Hero or even Villain Protagonist depending on how you view his actions.
- Boom, Headshot!: Rather fond of dealing these out. It's also how he dies.
- Decoy Protagonist: Dies at the end of series 3, after which Nidge takes over.
- Disney Death: At the end of series 1.
- The Dragon: In series 3. To a lesser extent, he's John Boy's go-to guy for contract killings in series 2.
- The Hero: Technically speaking.
- The Hero Dies: Takes two to the back of the head at the end of series 3
- He Who Fights Monsters: As he continues to carry out hits on thoroughly unpleasant people, he himself becomes less sympathetic. The best example is his killing of Stumpy, something Rosie eventually leaves him for doing.
- Hitman with a Heart: At first. Once Rosie leaves him and Mary disowns him after series 2, any good that's in him goes.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Is able to fight off several IRA members who are armed with AK-47s with only a pistol and score a headshot on one. He seems to be quite capable of picking off drivers of moving vehicles with said pistol.
- In the Hood: Wears a black hoodie, particularly when in hiding or on hits.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In spite of him being a vicious killer, he is protective of his sister, loving of Rosie and rebuff's Siobhan's advances in spite of the fact that Tommy was cheating on her in the first place.
- Killed Off for Real: By way of Double Tap from Lizzie. His body is shown on a mortuary slab just to confirm this.
- Made of Iron: Survives getting shot in the first series and takes a round at the end of the third with Only a Flesh Wound. It takes two Boom Headshots at Point Blank Range to put him down for good.
- Mr. Fanservice: He gets more than a few Shirtless Scenes, though mostly to show off his bullet scars from being shot at the end of series 1. There's also his explicit sex scene with Rosie in series 2.
- Past Experience Nightmare: The twin traumas of losing Robbie and being shot by Stumpy in series 1 leave him with nightmares in series 2.
- Professional Killer: In series 2, John Boy uses him to take care of rats in order to pay back his debt. In series 3, he takes on the role of Nidge's personal hitman as well.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Only has eyes for Rosie. When on Nidge's stag do, he doesn't go for the local women (though Stumpy doesn't either because he feels that Darren will judge him and tell Rosie) and even after Rosie leaves him, he doesn't avail of the services of the brothel when all the others do, instead drinking in silence and spurns Siobhan's advances when she tells him that she knows about Tommy's frequenting of Debbie.
- Sniping the Cockpit: Does this to Elmo nonfatally and later to one of Lizzie's brothers by way of a headshot.
- Tattooed Crook: Has a number of tattoos, including one on his chest as a memorial to Robbie.
- Villain Protagonist: He's The Protagonist for the first three seasons, though isn't exactly heroic.
Nigel "Nidge" Delaney
Played by Tom Vaughn-Lawlor
- Affably Evil: He'll share a joke with you and smile goofily to your face one minute and turn on you the next.
- Laughably Evil: He gets some pretty hilarious lines while he's at it.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After Lizzie breaks into his house, he does a deal with Dano's superiors in the IRA, leading to Dano getting his knees blown off.
- Anti-Villain: Thanks to Character Development and increased character focus, we see the more sympathetic side of him, such as his family life with Trish and his kids and the death of his mother.
- Bald of Evil: His baldness is an increasing source of angst for him.
- Big Bad: From series 3 on.
- Breakout Character: Gets more and more screentime after the first series, receiving equal billing with Darren in series 3 and is The Protagonist outright from series 4 on.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Has betrayed practically ever character in the series at some point, getting many of them killed in the process. John Boy, Darren, Fran and Tommy are particularly notable examples.
- Deadpan Snarker: He gets some hilarious one liners.
- The Dragon
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He's married with two children. He's horrified that the last thing he sees is his son watching him get shot.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: In spite of the danger to his life, he reluctantly goes to see his mother when she's terminally ill.
- Expy: Nidge is heavily based on Real Life gangland boss "Fat" Freddie Thompson, who betrayed his own employer and took control of his operations.
- First-Name Basis: His wife, Trish, and Fran's girlfriend, Linda, are the only ones to refer to him by his real name of Nigel.
- Killed Off for Real: Gets shot by Patrick in the season finale of series 5. Tom Vaughn-Lawlor confirmed in newspaper interviews that he is dead.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When Darren calls him and is shot mid conversation.
- The Paranoiac: After buying a pipe bomb from Patrick in series 2 that he uses on Fran's house, he becomes paranoid that Patrick will tell Fran about it and tries to kill him. This paranoia contributes directly to his own death.
- Properly Paranoid: At the start of series 4, he sees a cop moonlighting as a bouncer and gets paranoid that the cop is following, despite assurances from the Dirty Cop he has employed that this is not the case. Later, we see the cop write up a report on Nidge and Elmo's movements.
- Stepford Smiler: Behind that goofy grin is a cold-blooded snake who won't hesitate to have you shot if you cross him.
- Villain Protagonist: Gets equal billing with Darren in series 3 and is The Protagonist in series 4.
- Weapon of Choice: While everybody else uses whatever they get their hands on, Nidge prefers a Glock 17, noting it to be the preferred weapon of choice for "bad fuckers the world over." He provides the page quote for Handguns.
John "John Boy" Power
Played by Aiden Gillen
- Big Bad: For the first two seasons, he's running the gang.
- Domestic Abuse: Beats Debbie for taking heroin in his flat.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Has a teenage daughter whom he spoils.
- Killed Off for Real: Darren and Nidge kill him at the end of series 2.
- Properly Paranoid: In series 2, is convinced that somebody's out to get him. Darren and Nidge kill him when his paranoia gets too strong.
- Villainous Breakdown: Series 2 sees him slip very quickly. Constant police pressure gets to him big time.
- Would Hit a Girl: Debbie gets on his bad side. He even tells her that pissing herself won't save her from a beating.
Played by Killian Scott
- Anti-Villain: One cop who had previously arrested him referred to him as "a decent sort". Becomes even moreso as a result of his brain damage.
- Chick Magnet: And it causes him some serious problems.
- Demoted to Extra: Killian Scott's name hasn't been in the credits for series 5, though he does appear onscreen still in his coma.
- The Ditz: As a result of brain damage.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Has a regular thing going with Debbie from series 2 on, despite being with Siobhan since the end of series 1.
- The Load: Seems to be going this way in series 4, courtesy of his brain damage.
- Manchild: In series 4 thanks to brain damage, he nearly blows a tiger kidnapping when he feels sorry for on of the hostages and reveals his face to her.
- Token Good Team Mate: Arguably at first, but definitely once he gets brain damage. He even tries to comfort one of the hostages the gang takes during a Tiger kidnapping.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: Played for Drama. As a result of the beating Nidge gives him in series 3, he winds up with a plate in his head and is likely suffering from brain damage.
Francis "Fran" Cooney
Played by Peter Coonan
- '80s Hair: He wears his hair in a mullet, except in series 4.
- Affably Evil / Laughably Evil: Due to his craziness, he can be quite funny and even chummy, provided someone doesn't trigger his temper.
- Axe-Crazy: He's described as a mad bastard by one garda and has some pretty psychotic tendencies. For example, when one of Carl notes offhand that he didn't have any children with Linda, he goes berserk and stabs him with a broken bottle.
- Berserk Button: Carl makes the mistake of reminding him that Linda never gave him children. Fran stabs him with a broken bottle for it.
- The Brute: Becomes this when Nidge employs him.
- Catchphrase: "Coola boola!"
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Is the victim of this when John Boy allows his drug shipment to get confiscated. Kills Andrew and eventually turns on Nidge when he discovers what Nidge did to Linda.
- Deliberate Injury Gambit: Stabs himself in the shower so he can be transferred to the hospital. When he goes to the bathroom, he knocks out the prison guard escorting him and escapes.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He's quite easy to set off. He can go from hilarious to downright psychotic in the blink of an eye.
- Heartbroken Badass: For all his psychotic tendencies and laddish behaviour, he is genuinely upset at Linda's death, even breaking down and crying when he discovers the truth of what happened to her.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Starts as Darren's new employer, becomes an antagonist with an axe to grind against John Boy, joins the gang when Nidge takes over and sets out to kill Nidge when he discovers the truth behind the attack on Linda.
- Large Ham: He's quite bombastic.
- Loan Shark: Loans Darren money to do up Mary's house.
- Prison Rape: Variant. Noelie has some other prisoners pin him down while he violates him with a broken pool cue.
- Psycho for Hire: Nidge keeps him around precisely because he's Axe-Crazy, but would rather have him on his side as he finds it's more useful than being at war with him.
- The Starscream: Seems to be going this way as of the end of series 4.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He's very similar to Hughie in that he has a Hair-Trigger Temper that can result in Disproportionate Retribution upon anyone who performs an imagined slight upon him, though he's more Affably Evil than Hughie.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Linda is Driven to Suicide, he loses his cool and stabs a friend with a glass. Series 4 seems to be picking it up again, as he's taken to sitting outside his caravan in the dark with a bottle of poteen and a Sawed-Off Shotgun for company, randomly attacking one of his mooks when he shows up. When Nidge threatens to use his Giant Mook to beat him to death, he indulges in some Inelegant Blubbering to save his own life.
- Villain Decay: Is an antagonist in series 2 and becomes a Laughably Evil member of the gang in series 3. Inverted in series 4, when he starts getting nasty again.
- You Can't Go Home Again: After Linda's suicide, he feels he can't go back to the house and has resorted to living in a caravan on his land.
Played by Ruth Negga
- Love Interest: To Darren.
- Morality Pet: When she leaves Darren, any good that's left in him leaves too.
- Ms. Fanservice: Has a fairly explicit sex scene in series 2.
- Put on a Bus: Leaves Darren and the show when he kills John Boy.
- Token Minority: Unlike American or British shows, this isn't really a requirement for Irish tv. It's more down to the fact that Ruth Negga just happens to be black, so it's not really an issue.
Played by Peter Campion
- Bastard Boyfriend: He's not very good to Rosie, something which Darren can see, even before he beats her.
- Domestic Abuse: Beats Rosie because he thinks she's cheating on him with Darren.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He visits his mother with frequent regularity. This is to give him some sympathy.
- Jerkass: He's very unpleasant, most likely to make Darren seem more heroic.
- Killed Off for Real: Darren guns him down on orders from John Boy.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: While Darren guns him down on orders from John Boy, being Rosie's abusive ex-boyfriend means that Darren has no qualms about doing so. Deconstructed in that Rosie figures it out and leaves Darren over it.
- The Rival: To Darren both for Rosie's affections and within the gang.
- Romantic False Lead: Rosie is pregnant with his baby and they are living together in series 1. This changes (in both respects. She loses the baby) when Stumpy beats her when he suspects she's cheating.
- Would Hit a Girl: And he hits Rosie so hard that show loses the baby.
Played by Ruth Bradley
- Morality Pet: To Darren. After he kills John Boy, she disowns him.
- Put on a Bus: Cuts off contact from Darren after series 2. Killing Luke was a step too far for her.
Played by Jason Barry
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Has to be carried home every time he even touches whiskey.
- The Dragon: At first to his father, then to Tony.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Hits precisely fuck all with a Kalashnikov. Then again, he was trying for More Dakka.
- Revenge Before Reason: Or, at least, Revenge Before Proper Marksmanship. His superiors blow his kneecaps off when Nidge does a deal with them.
- Western Terrorists: As an IRA man.
- Terrorists Without a Cause: The IRA portrayed here are little more than just another gang.
- You Have Failed Me: The IRA kneecap him saying that they don't need riffraff like him and leave him for dead. Word of God confirms that he doesn't survive.
- You Killed My Father: Is out to get the gang once he finds out they killed Git.
Played by Susan Loughnane
- Broken Bird: Her parents have disowned her and she has serious addiction issues with heroin.
- Demoted to Extra: In series 4, her appearance are less and less because she's being sent over and back to England to smuggle drugs in.
- Dropped A Bridge On Her: Unlike most characters, her death has no fanfare building up to it.
- Drugs Are Bad: Starts with hash and winds up a full blown junkie within a series. She's even referred to as a crack whore in series 3. She and Denise die in their living room from a heroin overdose.
- Hookers and Blow: Gets addicted to heroin and after John Boy dies has to become a prostitute to fund her habit.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Shown as a sympathetic character. Tommy sees her this way certainly.
- Killed Off for Real: Dies of an overdose.
- Ms. Fanservice: Shown naked in her first appearance and wears Stripperific outfits as a hooker.
- Refuge in Audacity: Customs officers decide not to search her bag when she leaves a massive dildo in plain sight at the top of her luggage.
- She's Got Legs: Generally wears a Dangerously Short Skirt to show them off, especially from series 3 onwards.
- Street Walker: At the end of series 2. She gets into a brothel later.
Played by Brian Gleeson
- Axe-Crazy: He's unstable, killing Darren's brother to save face. His heavy cocaine use is likely a factor in his lack of stability.
- Badass Beard: The only character to sport a real beard. Given that he's played by the son of Brendan Gleeson, this is to be expected.
- Berserk Button: So many of them, it's like walking through a minefield.
- Fiery Redhead: Tends to shoot people for perceived slights against him.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: The slightest thing can set him off, such as JP refusing to let him drive his dad's Cool Car.
- Instant Death Bullet: Averted. In spite of shooting himself in the head, it takes him at least five minutes to die.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Puts a gun to his head after removing the magazine. Unfortunately for him, he neglects to empty the chamber.
- Jerkass: To say that he's a huge asshole would be an understatement. When he isn't beating or shooting someone for petty reasons, he's antagonistic towards them, such as his treatment of JP for the latter refusing to let him drive a car that didn't belong to him.
- Too Dumb to Live: Shoots himself in the head while showing off the Potsy.
Adrian "Ado" Kenny
Played by Mark Dunne
- Butt-Monkey: In his earliest appearances, he's not really treated with any kind of respect.
- The Ditz
- Knee Capping: Happens to him at the start of series 3, kicking off the plot. In a notable aversion to Hollywood Healing, he spends most of the rest of the series in a cast.
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": Names his budgie after himself.
Eric "Elmo" Creed
Played by Laurence Kinlan
- Ambiguous Disorder: It's implied that he has learning difficulties of some description.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Downplayed. When Darren shoots him in the stomach in the first series, he's let out of hospital pretty quickly, though he has to clean the wound regularly and may need a colostomy bag.
- The Scapegoat: In series 3, the gang try to pin Git's murder on him to get the IRA off their backs and in series 4, the gardai use a Batman Gambit to make Nidge think he's ratted the gang out.
Inspector Mick Moynihan
Played by Brian F. O'Byrne
- Big Good: Heads up a Garda task force to tackle gangland crime.
- Hero Antagonist: A good cop out to take down a notorious gang.
- Inspector Javert: His role is basically a counterbalance to the gang, at least to try and offset the Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.
- In-Universe Nickname: His fellow gardai affectionately call him "Cig", which seems to be a shortened version of Cigire, the Irish word for Inspector.
- Knight Templar: In series 5, having been unable to pin the drugs operation on Nidge, goes to any lengths to take him down. When he pulls him over, he eats Nidge's tax disc and beats the crap out of him. He's also willing to go with Siobhan's evidence planting scheme, knowing full well that it's not above board.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He treats his subordinates with respect and knows that this is the best way to keep them onside.
Played by Caoilfhionn Dunne
- Dark Action Girl: She's an antagonist from the end of series 3, what with being a member of the IRA.
- Despair Event Horizon: Loses one brother in his sleep and the other to Darren via a headshot. From this point on, she turns from a sympathetic possible Love Interest to hardened killer.
- The Dragon: Becomes this to Dano.
- Dropped A Bridge On Her: Gets very little screentime at the start of series 5 and is getting ready to perform a hit on Nidge when one of his Mooks gets her first.
- FaceHeel Turn: Starts out with a crush on Darren. Ends up killing him.
- Important Haircut: Shaves her head when Darren kills her brother.
- Karmic Death: In the same way that she killed Darren, she herself is subjected to a pair of headshots.
- Pretty Little Headshots: Unlike the splatter-type headshots that usually happen, she gets two relatively smaller headshots.
- Taught by Experience: Witnesses first hand how difficult Darren is to kill. Makes doubly sure by shooting him in the head twice at Point Blank Range.
- Took a Level in Badass: Having only been supplying support and guns at first, she takes up a gun herself after Darren kills her brother and actively hunts Nidge throughout series 4.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Starts with a crush on Darren and is built up to be a potential Love Interest. Once she sets out for revenge, she becomes much more callous, even beating a random motorist with a tyre iron.
- You Killed My Brother: The main reason she shoots Darren in the head.
Played by Charlie Murphy
- Beware the Nice Ones: When Pauley grabs her and asks her how she knew he was at the zoo she shoves him off the balcony of her apartment.
- Females Are More Innocent: Probably the most virtuous character in the entire series.
- The Informant: After Tommy slips into a second coma, she agrees to help the gardai so as to get back at Nidge.
- Killed Off for Real: Gets caught in the crossfire when Patrick comes to kill Nidge.
- Morality Pet: To Tommy, obviously, but moreso to Nidge, as she's his niece. He goes to absolutely ridiculous lengths to keep her safe until she turns on him.
- Rape as Drama: She falls victim to Git Loughman in series 3, which is the main cause of the subsequent events.
Played by Aoibhinn McGinnity
- '80s Hair: Her hairstyles get increasingly larger until series 5, where it's lampshaded as she gets something a little less huge.
Played by Johnny Ward
- Badass Biker: Always wears biker leathers and rides motorbikes on hits, even jacking one from an innocent biker for the attempted hit on Patrick.
- Disney Villain Death: Siobhan pushes him off the balcony of her apartment when she accidentally lets slip that she knows that he was at the zoo that day.
- The Dragon: As the nephew of Terence "Big Balls", he has his complete trust and is sent back to Ireland with Nidge to keep him alive. In a way, he acts as Nidge's dragon as well.
- Love Interest: Has a thing going with Siobhan since arriving on the scene, in spite of the fact that Tommy is just about still alive.
- Professional Killer: Likes to perform hits to keep his skills sharp. The one time we see him going on a hit, he makes a balls of it.
Sergeant Ciaran Madden
Played by Kieran O'Reilly
- Cowboy Cop: Mick doesn't let him speak to "Bacon and Cabbage" for fear that he'll antagonise him. When told to wait for armed backup, fearing that they won't arrive in time he instead takes on Fran and arrests him. He's actually congratulated by his superiors for his courage and quick improvisation.
- Number Two: He's basically The Lancer to Mick Moynihan's leader.
- Hero Antagonist: As part of the garda task force, he is determined to bring down the gang, even if he's not getting paid overtime to do so.
Played by John Connors
- Arms Dealer: Specialises in making pipe bombs, but will sell guns if needed.
- Ascended Extra: Goes from a minor almost background character in series 2, to Chekhov's Gunman in series 4, all the way up to main antagonist in series 5.
- Assassin Outclassin': Nidge keeps sending guys after him, even trying to do the job himself on the first attempt. None of them so much as scratch him, barring Paulie's attempt, which failed due to a Bulletproof Vest and a lot of shotgun toting backup.
- Bulletproof Vest: Wears body armour when Paulie tries to kill him.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Makes pipebombs for a living and supplies Nidge the bomb for the attack on Fran's house in series 2 in a small role. He appears again in series 4 where he's buying dogs from Fran. Nidge gets paranoid that he'll tell Fran about what he did, so he tries to kill him. As a result, he's the main antagonist in series 5. In fact, this is taken literally, as he shoots Siobhan and Nidge in the finale.
- Crazy-Prepared / Properly Paranoid: Sets up CCTV around the halting site, puts up a barbed wire fence, wears body armour and lures Paulie to a van full of his buddies armed with shotguns when he tries to kill him.
- He Knows Too Much: Nidge tries to kill him in order to keep him silent about Nidge being the one who bought a pipe bomb for use against Fran. This backfires on Nidge as it not only spurs Patrick to fight back, but also to tell Fran of Nidge's involvement.
- Implacable Man: So far three attempts to kill him have failed. The guy just won't die. Unlike Darren's Made of Iron qualities, however, it's down to the fact that he always wears body armour, snares potential hitmen or just plain beats the shit out of them.
- Neutral No Longer: As a pipe bomb maker, he doesn't care who or what the pipe bomb is for so long as he gets paid. It's only when Nidge tries to kill him that he actually sides against him and tells Fran of Nidge's involvement in the attack on Linda.
- Papa Wolf: When Packy accidentally shoots his son in the head, Patrick beats the ever loving shit out of him, has his buddies string him up, puts the shits up him and slits his throat. Knowing that Nidge was responsible, he kills him for it.
Played by Mary Murray
- Miss Kitty: She's a madam who runs Nidge's brothel and is having an affair with him. Though, she does also send hookers Nidge's way for him to try out.
- Killed Offscreen: Unlike most characters, she is last seen alive when Terence "Big Balls" sends a pair of Mooks to her house. The next time we see her, she's a corpse that's been slashed at the femoral arteries. An angle grinder is implied to be involved.