Along with Hal, Gately is perhaps the other main character of the story. He is a large but gentle and sensitive person. The son of an alcoholic, Gately starts drinking his mother’s alcohol in order to stop her getting too drunk. He plays high school football, but his drinking and drug use lead him to fail his classes; he is kicked off the football team and leaves school. Gately begins working for Facklemann, and witnesses Facklemann’s gruesome downfall at the hands of Sorkin and Eighties Bill. He became a professional burglar, and accidentally kills Guillaume DuPlessis during a botched robbery. In order to avoid going to prison he checks into Ennet House, where he eventually becomes a residential staffer. He ends up getting shot while defending Randy Lenz from a group of Quebecois men. In the hospital, he is visited by a “wraith” who is the spirit of James Incandenza. During this time, he has a potentially prophetic vision of helping Hal to dig up James’s head. Despite his tough exterior, Gately is highly protective of people, particularly the Ennet House residents. He develops feelings for Joelle in spite of the rule against relationships between Ennet House residents and staffers.