With Breaking Bad over, something is needed to fill the void of a quality crime show. Irish critics believe that the show is RTE’s Love/Hate. Reviewers may have despised the show from series one calling the characters too clean cut to make believable criminals but it developed a fan base for viewers who wanted to see something different from RTE. This resulted in the cast and crew creating season two which pleased the fans further and silenced its critics by improving the minor flaws it had before. Season three went on to capture on a few occasions nearly a million viewers and papers like the Guardian are comparing it to The Wire or The Sopranos. The Examiner doesn’t even it the greatest show in Ireland. They consider it one of the greatest shows ever. Love/Hate is praised so much that President Michael D Higgins has admitted to enjoying it and is available on Netflix for the world to see. With season four under way, this article will discuss the characters and the actors that play them.* Also some of the video content contains explicit language and violent scenes.
Nigel “Nidge” Delaney: While the show doesn’t have a true protagonist if it had to pick one, it would be the man sometimes referred to as the Nidge Weasel. In season one; Nidge appeared to be the comic relief of the show from claiming to be updating his bebo page when viewing porn or gun documentaries to being paranoid about wearing speedos. Fast forward to season four, he has become the ruthless leader of his gang having the two original protagonists (ruthless gang leader John Boy Power and good kid in a rough crowd Darren Treacy) killed. However internal family and business issues as well as avoiding the IRA and Gardaí has Nidge in a snafu similar to that of Tony Soprano. As well as that, Nidge has skeletons in his closet will every character from sleeping with Fran’s deceased wife Linda to having been the real person to nearly beat Tommy to death. The evolution of Nidge is a fantastic as well the impressive way that his mood keeps changing. One moment, he could shouting at you then he’d be calmly talking to you the next. That is one the reasons why actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor enjoys playing the character and why fans enjoy watching Nidge more than any other character in the show.
Tom Vaughan Lawlor: The only similarity between Nidge and Tom is the face. The voices are the exact opposite and Tom Vaughan Lawlor has black hair. He shaves it for the show against his will but enjoys playing Nidge. He graduated with a degree in Drama Studies at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin and continued his training at RADA. Like the rest of the cast, Vaughan Lawlor has appeared as a stage actor before making it on the screen. His film range includes The Tigers Tail with Brendan Gleeson (whose son Brian appeared in season one as Hughie Power) directed by John Boorman and Vaughan Lawlor appeared as Robert Fowle opposite Anne Hathaway in the drama about Jane Austin that is Becoming Jane. However, Nidge has become his most recognisable role having won him a best supporting actor in a TV drama in 2012 and the best actor in a TV drama in 2013 at the IFTAs as seen below.
Tommy Daly: One of the leading soldiers in John Boy’s and now Nidge’s gang, Tommy is the other good kid caught in a bad gang seen through his disdain of murdering people and not having a personal beef with anyone like Darren. Tommy ‘s hatred for murdering can be seen when he vomited before a murder attempt. Instead he is a man of love being a womanising criminal having been involved in with most of the female cast. Yet it’s relationship with Siobhan that is strongest with both them having a son together and helping each other through their personal crises. Now in season four, he is in a childlike state of mind having been viciously beaten by Nidge for sleeping with Dano’s wife and suffers from various symptoms because of it from bleeding ears and headaches to forgetting society’s rules and thus acts odd in public. His forgetfulness has called backlash as he accidently exposed Fran as a figure of a tiger kidnapping. As a result, the two are in crosshairs unbeknownst to Tommy. View the video below to see the beating .
Killian Scott: Like Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Killian Scott provides a different accent to his own Dublin 4 voice for the show to fan’s disappointment. However, Killian has shown that anything is possible having been rejected from over 200 jobs before landing the role. Scott’s other credits include the Jack Taylor series with Iain Glen where he plays Cody Farraher and has worked before on RTE in drama series Single Handed. He also appeared in the well-received Good Vibrations and will be appearing with Love/Hate co-star Peter Coonan in dramedy Get up and Go.
Francis “Fran” Cooney: A former loan shark turned wannabe drug lord, Fran is now the lead lieutenant in Nidge’s gang. In season three, Fran became the comic relief for his pick-up lines and memorable phrases like Coola Boola. Despite, his fun demeanour outside of work, Fran is ruthless at work with his threats and violent ways. His callous mannerisms grows stronger in season four from wearing devil masks to losing teeth and blood in fights with enemy Noely. However, his strongest presence appeared in episode where he planned to kill Tommy in the scrapyard before a lifesaving call by Nidge.
Peter Coonan: Born in Dublin in 1984, Peter Coonan attended the Anne Kavanagh Theatre School, and University College Dublin. His most recent credits include What Richard Did and An Crisis Eile for TG4 showing Coonan knows more than cúpla focal in Irish. However Love/Hate is his most well-known role having received an IFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Drama for playing Fran in 2013. His next projects consist of Get up and Go, animated comedy Newsbag and BBC series Quirke. Below Coonan discusses Love/Hate and working with Gabriel Byrne on Quirke.
Siobhan Daly: The wife of Tommy and niece of Nidge, Siobhan started off as the teenage love of Tommy. However she is now the mother of Tommy’s child Layton and has been involved in the underground operations on a few occasions from flying John Boy’s illegal gains out of the country in season 2 to keeping quiet about the murder of Dano’s father Git Loughman despite being traumatised from the events that happened beforehand in season 3 where she became a main character. In season four, she minds Tommy after his accident and even saves him from the clutches of Fran by telling Nidge about the situation. Below is a video of Tommy and Siobhan’s relationship from season one.
Charlie Murphy: A graduate of the Gaiety School of Acting, Charlie Murphy was no stranger to RTE having appeared in The Clinic and as Mairead in Single Handed. She most recently appeared in season four of Misfits and in BBC’s The Village. She will next be seen in BBC shows Ripper Street and Quirke as well the film Philomena with Judi Dench out November 1st in Ireland. However like the audience, Murphy had no idea how big the show would be or how big her role would be claiming she would have fecked up her audition if she had known it would as big as it is now. Having received an IFTA for Best Actress in a TV Drama in 2013, her important role has got her recognised internationally as she landed a role in Northmen: A Viking Saga with Ryan Kwanten and Ed Skrein.
Daniel “Dano” Loughman: A member of the IRA, Dano hates the criminal underworld of Ireland yet after the disappearance of his father Git Loughman or the RA man as Nidge’s gang called him, Dano stay close to them to seek the truth. (The truth being that Tommy and Darren killed Git for raping Siobhan). In season 3, he wants personal revenge on Nidge to which his superiors are against as the IRA use Nidge’s drug boat to bring in guns. This forces Dano’s alcoholism to worsen and his temper to increase to a point where he defies orders and attempts to shoot Nidge. In season four, Dano is sober and more patient waiting to Nidge to slip up before going in for the kill.
Jason Barry: Born in Dublin. Jason Barry graduated from Trinity College Dublin after studying at the Samuel Beckett Centre. His first job was in BBC “Screen Two: O Mary This London (#10.5)” (1994), a part where he had to run for half a mile naked down Camden High Street for one of his opening scenes. This is nothing to Barry as he is an accomplished Marathon runner winning the 2005 Celebrity race at the London Marathon for The Leukaemia Research Foundation. Being most famous for appearing in Titanic before playing Dano, it is actually Love/Hate that has Barry being noticed on the streets as he mentions in the video below.
DI Mick Moynihan: The head of an Irish sting operation, Moynihan’s main priority is to target Nidge and his gang with strong evidence that would look them up forever. While his team are planting the idea of Elmo being a rat throughout Dublin, Moynihan is aiming to use Tommy and Siobhan to provide evidence that could help the investigation. Having Nidge’s insider cop behind bars, the operation seems to be working.
Brían F. O’Byrne: A veteran actor, Brían F. O’Byrne was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for Mildred Pierce. Other credits include FlashForward, Brotherhood, Million Dollar Baby and Brooklyn’s Finest. Irish fans remember him as Mick the bus driver in Intermission yet the role that got him recognised internationally was HBO’s Oz where he played IRA prisoner Padraig Connolly that would rather die in the US then be tried in the UK as seen below.
Trish Delaney: The suffering wife of Nidge, Trish has managed to keep an eye on family affairs while Nidge is sorting out problems in his line of work. She has been annoyed at Nidge on multiple from when he is flirting with other women to when he avoid important family matters and events for work. That tension can be seen in the video which also highlights why Trish’s husband is sometimes called the Nidge Weasel.
Aoibhinn McGinnity: Originally from Monaghan, Aoibhinn McGinnity graduated with a degree in Theatre Dance from the London Studio Centre. Her other screen work includes RTE dramas Wild Decembers and Trivia. She will be appearing in Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side with Hayley Atwell and Imogen Poots as well as being another Love/Hate star appearing in Quirke.
Eric “Elmo” Creed: A soldier of John Boy and Nidge’s, Elmo has been involved in a spot of trouble on numerous. In season one, he let John Boy’s drugged up stepbrother Huey die for a self-inflicted gunshot wound after Huey abused him despite Elmo taking a bullet for him. In season three, Elmo was a scapegoat Nidge threw to the RA to avoid them tracking the real scent that would lead to Git’s whereabouts. Now in season four, Elmo has been targeted as a rat due to graffiti made by undercover guards. Below, Elmo does what any young person would do and discuss the problem with his father.
Laurence Kinlan: The first role Laurence Kinlan has was playing the lead in Alan Bleasdale’s drama, Soft Sand Blue Sea for Channel 4. His other TV roles include The Bill and as one of the main RTE’s On Home Ground. Kinlan’s film credits include Angela’s Ashes, Boy Eats Girl, The Guard and Breakfast on Pluto. He is recognised internationally for playing Dan Kelly in the film Ned Kelly with Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom.
* This list focuses on the main characters for season four yet if you want another character like John Boy or Darren on this list, feel free to mention it on the comment board