According to Irish, he grew up poor and hungry. When he was around fourteen years old, he immigrated to the United States. During his boat ride to America, he met and befriended two other immigrants, French and Welsh. In Irish's words, they became "as thick as thieves" ever since.
Events of Red Dead Redemption
Irish is one of the supporting characters in the first chapter of Red Dead Redemption. His help was suggested to Marston by Nigel West Dickens as the man who could get Marston heavy firepower and ammunition from a Gatling Gun. After saving Irish from two of his "friends", and rescuing his friend Shaky, while also carrying out other errands, he will "help" John take over the hideout of Williamson in Fort Mercer. However, when the battle starts in Fort Mercer, he is nowhere to be found until just before the mission is finished. His excuse: "I awoke with me head in a pair of tits and it felt ill-mannered not to get reacquainted with them." In the mission "We Shall Be Together in Paradise," however, Irish provides John with a raft to Nuevo Paraíso and accompanies him, even if he cowers while they're under fire.
After parting ways with John in Nuevo Paraíso, Irish is never encountered again. In 1914, the "miscellany" section of the Blackwater Ledger states that an "Irish male, of unknown name, came to his death by the accidental discharge of a gun in a Thieves' Landing outhouse."
Irish is a dysfunctional alcoholic known to greatly exaggerate, and tell tales of which he seldom remembers the finer details. When John Marston works alongside him, he often does the work while Irish is nowhere to be found, further perpetuating his reputation as a lazy drunk and a coward.
They call me El Rato, 'The cat', on account of me stealth and cunning.
What's the word for 'cunt' in Spanish?
Ain't you got some peckers to be suckin'?
Oh, me virgin ears!
You're an angry and a feck-ugly man, but not a bad one.
—Irish's last words to John Marston
In multiplayer, he is placed in the Damnation section, most likely due to his crimes and attempts to get John Marston killed.
If shot at before starting a mission, he may shoot back and possibly kill the player or simply run. During these moments, the player is unable to kill Irish.
Irish seems to keep his revolver tucked into the front of his pants rather than in a holster.
In multiplayer, Irish's gun is not in the front of his pants, but in a holster on his waist.
When Irish puts his gun away after shooting in the mission "We Shall Be Together in Paradise", it uses the animation like he is putting his gun in a holster. His gun can then be seen to teleport to the front of his pants.
After the mission "We Shall Be Together in Paradise", it is possible to kill him. However, the player needs to be extremely quick and likely will have to use Dead-Eye.
Due to a comment Irish makes in "On Shaky's Ground", Irish may be from the city of Dublin, Ireland.
During the mission “We Shall Be Together in Paradise”, he uses the term ‘shitehawk’ while being shot at. This could mean he comes from Cork, Ireland, as it’s a phrase used often in that area.
Also during the mission, Irish mentions he was born into the world fighting and he will leave it fighting, to which John replies that he thinks Irish will leave it pissing his pants. Ironically, this predicts Irish's death in the future when his gun accidentally goes off in an outhouse in Thieves' Landing.
He is one of the few original Red Dead Redemption characters that does not appear in Undead Nightmare. However on occasion, a Retcher may be encountered which has a striking similarity to Irish and next to the train station in Armadillo, there is a half-eaten corpse, that if looked at carefully, has a resemblance to Irish, with a Repeater Carbine next to the body.
He appears to be a well traveled person, having been to both Mexico and Canada, the majority of New Austin, and his native Ireland (then a part of the United Kingdom). These claims may be untrue, however, due to Irish's consistent dishonesty.
Both of Irish's parents are mentioned at one point in the game. His father's throat was slit by a Welshman, as said in "A Frenchman, a Welshman and an Irishman", and his mother was still alive as of 1911, as said in "Man is Born Unto Trouble".
Irish justifies his thievery with ideals very similar in concept to Marston's, as told by his dialogue with Marston after being caught threatening a pair of nuns for money in "On Shaky's Ground".
Irish and Uncle are similar in several aspects, considering they both have very prominent beards, struggle with alcoholism, are fairly apathetic, only known by their nicknames, have similar facial structures and the type of "love/hate" relationship (although mostly hate when it comes to the former) that Marston has with both.
After completing "On Shaky's Ground", when Irish rides off, the player can catch up to him and get back on the wagon. Doing so will cause Irish to flee, and the player is able to kill or hogtie him.
At the beginning of the mission "Man is Born Unto Trouble", the song Irish is singing, "I love me precious Flora, the lily of the West", is in fact "Lily of the West", an old Irish folksong.
Irish indirectly mentions that he drank and played a game of cards with a Colonel "something or other" in Escalera. The Colonel in question is most likely Agustin Allende.
In "Man is Born Unto Trouble", Irish mentions that one of his reasons for leaving Ireland was for "poking" his brother's wife.
During the raft ride in "We Shall Be Together in Paradise", Irish admits that he can't swim.
At least one news outlet criticized the portrayal of Irish as the "town drunk" who attempts to talk his way out of situations as being the "Stereotype of the drunken Paddy."