Real Name: Paddy O'Hanlon

Identity/Class: Human using conventional weapons (Irish citizen - see comments)

Occupation: Assassin;
   formerly enforcer for Irish Republican Army (IRA)

Group Membership: Formerly IRA

Affiliations: Former friend of Fergus O'Breen

Enemies: Cossack, Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Glorianna O'Breen, IRA, the British in general

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Old Woman of Beare

Base of Operations: Formerly Ireland;
   later Manhattan, New York, USA

First Appearance: Daredevil I#205 (April, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: The Gael is an extremely talented assassin. He is skilled in stealth, subterfuge, poisons, and in combat both hand-to-hand and with conventional weapons, although he was not able to stand up to a master combatant, such as Daredevil. His preferred weapon of death is either a knife or strangling with his own hands. The element of surprise frequently enables him to gain the upper hand on his target, even small groups at a single time. He prefers to overpower his target by whatever means necessary, and then kill them at his own pace. He derives intense satisfaction and inner peace from the act of murder. He is known for leaving a paper shamrock on the faces of his victims.


Height: 5'10"
: 180 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Dark gray


History: (Daredevil I#205 (fb) - BTS) - The Gael was originally an extremely well known and successful assassin, both a member of and employed by the IRA. He kept his actual identity a secret, being known only as the Gael to everyone except his contact person, Fergus O'Breen. However, at some point, he realized that he enjoyed the acts of murder so much that he would kill anyone he could, even other IRA members. To prevent the IRA from learning his identity and taking steps to stop him, he murdered his old friend and contact, Fergus O'Breen. He then learned Fergus' daughter, Glorianna, had recently relocated to the United States, in Manhattan, New York. He learned that Fergus had attempted to tell Glorianna the Gael's identity, so the Gael traveled to New York to kill her as well.

(Daredevil I#205) - In New York, he tracked down Glorianna, and gained access to her apartment in his civilian identity, whom she knew as an old friend of her family, and then overpowered her and prepared to kill her. Having learned the Gael was after Glorianna from other IRA members, Daredevil arrived at her apartment in time to save Glorianna and stop the Gael. The Gael was sent to prison.

(Daredevil I#216 (fb) - BTS) - A short time later, the Gael caused himself to be badly burnt over the face and shoulders by a laundry pressing machine in prison.

(Daredevil I#216) - He was taken to a hospital, but was minimally guarded because they believed he was too badly injured to due any harm. However, he killed the doctor, drugged the guards, and escaped. He then gained information and killed several IRA members to learn the location of the Old Woman of Beare, a woman who arranged transport for IRA agents to and from America. The Gael tracked her down and overpowered her, learning that she was actually Glorianna O'Breen, his other target. Again, Daredevil arrived and overpowered the Gael, but he escaped capture.

(Daredevil I#217) - Fearing that her romantic interest, Matt Murdock, would not accept her activities as the Old Woman, Glorianna arranged a flight back to Ireland. However, at the airport, the Gael, who was also planning on escaping America, recognized her and captured her again. Before he could kill her, another criminal known as the Cossack activated a device at the airport that blinded everyone within range, including the Gael, and presumably Glorianna, as well. In the confusion, Glorianna escaped him, and he chased her through the airport, only to run into Daredevil, who had just apprehended the Cossack. Daredevil again defeated the Gael, and he was sent to prison.

Comments: Created by Denny O'Neil and William Johnson.

   Although the Gael was no match for Daredevil, his talents made him a fearsome killer to normal people.

   It seems likely that the IRA would have had him finished off while he was in prison, but if not...

   In case it's not blatantly obvious, the Gael is not a spelling error, but is another term for an Irishman, along the lines of Gaelic.

   It's not revealed whether Gael was born in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland; however, since those born in Northern Ireland have the option of claiming Irish citizenship if they so chose, it's all but certain that the British-hating Gael would have taken up this option if he was born in the North. Hence his citizenship would be Irish regardless of which part of Ireland he originated from.

Clarifications: Gael has no connection to:

images: (without ads)
Daredevil I#216, p15, pan1 (main image)
Daredevil I#216, p19, pan5 (scarred face)
Daredevil I#205, p16, pan4 (unscarred face, with paper shamrock)
Daredevil I#205, p1, pan1 (glove with shamrock marking)
Daredevil I#216, p15, pan6 (laughing)

Daredevil I#205 (April, 1984) - Denny O'Neil (writer), William Johnson (penciler), Danny Bulanadi (inker), Bob Budiansky (editor)
Daredevil I#216-217 (March-April, 1985) - Denny O'Neil (writer), David Mazzucchelli (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)

First Posted: 09/06/2001 (?)
Last updated: 03/05/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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