Exploring the rivalry between the Van der Linde Gang and the O’Driscolls

Red Dead Redemption 2 has a tragic and complicated story woven around different characters, each with their own role. The main character, Arthur Morgan, is a member of the Van der Linde gang and they are constantly on the run to escape the law and rival gangs.


Red Dead Redemption 2 takes place at a pivotal point in American history as the age of the outlaws draws to a close. Yet gangs like Van der Linde wreak havoc across the country, evading prosecution by any means necessary. After all, criminal organizations do run afoul of their rivals, and the Van der Linde gang was no different. They regularly quarreled with others Red Dead Redemption 2 Gangs like the Del Lobo Boys, the Murfree Brood and the Lemoyne Raiders. However, the Van der Linde gang’s fiercest rivals are the O’Driscolls.

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Origins of the Van der Linde Gang and O’Driscoll’s feud

The O’Driscolls are arguably the Van der Linde gang’s worst enemies, and the rivalry between the two groups begins before the events of the game. They are the first enemies that the player encounters Red Dead Redemption 2, shortly after the gang finds a place to rest at the Grizzlies. Little is described in Red Dead Redemption 2 about why the two crime groups hate each other, but some clues have been given as to their backstory.

Dialogue from older Van der Linde gang members such as Dutch, Hosea and Arthur suggests that the two gangs have an uncomfortable history stretching back years. Some dialogue even suggests that Dutch and Colm O’Driscoll, the leader of the rival gang, were once allies and worked together to further their criminal ends. Somewhere along the way, the two gang leaders had a falling out and have been at each other’s throats ever since.

In the words of Arthur Morgan, the two characters go way back and have an actual blood feud. More information about this dispute between Dutch and Colm O’Driscoll is revealed during an early mission Red Dead Redemption 2 Called “Old Friends”. Arthur and Dutch ride to an O’Driscoll camp in the mountains, where Arthur urges Dutch to end the conflict. They continue to talk about their issues when it is revealed that Dutch killed Colm’s brother in the past, who killed Dutch’s love interest Annabelle. Since then the two Red Dead Redemption 2 Gangs were at each other’s throats, wanting to destroy their opponent at every opportunity.

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Red Dead 2: Dutch vs. Colm

The O’Driscolls are first seen during the very first mission in Red Dead Redemption 2, called “Outlaws from the West”. The Van der Linde people find shelter from a heavy snowfall in an old, abandoned mining town when Dutch, Arthur and Micah find a homestead while looking for supplies. This house is owned by Sadie Adler and her husband who was killed by the O’Driscolls who took over the house. A small shootout ensues, from which the members of the Van der Linde gang emerge victorious.

The next mission where the O’Driscolls appear is “Old Friends”, which reveals more information about the history of the two gangs. Dutch, Arthur, Bill, Lenny, Javier and Micah head to O’Driscoll camp to sabotage their plans to rob a train Red Dead Redemption 2. After the mission, the gang members come across an escaping O’Driscoll boy named Kieran Duffy. The Van der Linde gang eventually threaten Kieran in the next mission to reveal Colm’s whereabouts, which he claims is the Six Point Cabin.

Unfortunately Colm is nowhere to be found and Arthur is ambushed by an O’Driscoll which Kieran kills saving Arthur’s life. After that, players move to the New Hanover region, where O’Driscolls can be seen more frequently, mostly around Valentine. They often set traps around bridges and try to ambush Arthur at every opportunity. In addition, players will discover many O’Driscoll hideouts and lairs as they progress through the game’s events.

O’Driscolls exhibit hostile behavior towards Arthur and are easily identified by their distinctive clothing or long, gray coats. Also, they have strong Irish accents and names like Seamus and Patrick. This suggests that many of them may be Irish immigrants. Additionally, O’Driscolls always seem to outnumber them, but are poorly trained with subpar equipment.

They appear in the mission “Blessed Are The Meek” in which Arthur frees Micah from prison in Strawberry. On the way back to camp, they are ambushed by dozens of members of the O’Driscoll gang, who flee after facing resistance from Micah and Arthur. In the mission “An American Pastoral Scene” they both have another encounter with the rival gang.

However, the most important Red Dead Redemption 2 Mission from the gang rivalry point of view is “Blessed Are The Peacemakers”. Colm O’Dricsoll eventually appears in this mission and offers to talk to the Van der Linde gang. The Van der Linde gang suspect it might be a trap, but they leave anyway. The two leaders of the gang are first seen face to face in the main story Red Dead Redemption 2.

The interaction between Dutch and Colm is of great importance as it reveals many important details. First, Dutch apologizes to Colm for killing his brother, to which Colm replies that he didn’t like him very much. This suggests that the feud did not start because of Colm’s brother’s death and peace was not an option. Additionally, Colm says the law offered him money to provide information about Dutch, suggesting he had better political connections.

How the feud between the Van der Linde Gang and the O’Driscolls ends

The O’Driscolls appear in a few more missions attacking the Van der Linde gang at Camp Saint-Denis. Eventually, Colm is arrested by the law and sentenced to death. His hanging takes place during the mission Goodbye Dear Friend, where he initially has escape plans. Arthur, Dutch, and Sadie disguise themselves as police officers to witness the execution, ultimately foiling Colm’s plans to avoid death as well.

Colm is ultimately executed as planned, but Sadie loses her cool and kills a bunch of O’Driscoll boys and lawyers. Colm’s death ended his feud with Dutch, but Sadie Adler still sought revenge for her husband’s murder. ‘Woman. Sadie Adler, Widow” is the final mission to feature the O’Driscolls. Sadie avenges her husband’s death by killing his killer, Tom, who had become the leader of the O’Driscoll gang.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now for PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One.

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