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Thomas Burke is the leader of the Irish Mob in New Bordeaux, operating out of Burke’s Iron & Metal, a local salvage yard. He and his father emigrated to the States at some point during his childhood, allegedly because of his father’s involvement in the Irish Civil War. Following his father’s death from a heart attack, Burke started running booze to support himself financially. His bootlegging operation soon fell under the purview of Sal Marcano, who brought him into the ranks as an associate.
He once ran all the rackets in Pointe Verdun for the Marcano Crime Family, including car thefts and vehicle chop shops. In the middle of 1966, they had a falling out over a lost shipment and Marcano muscled in and took over all of his operations, appointing Roman Barbieri, who partially crippled Burke, to oversee Pointe Verdun for him. In order to regain what he once had, Burke joins with Cassandra and Vito Scaletta as one of Lincoln Clay’s underbosses.
In 1968, having learned of Marcano’s intention to rob the Federal Reserve, Burke enlisted his services as a planner, and arranged for his son, Danny Burke, to become another member of the heist crew, in the hope that, if the heist was a success, it would end the bad blood between him and Sal, who he believed would return Pointe Verdun to him out of gratitude.
However, Danny is shot in the head by Giorgi Marcano at Sammy’s Bar, causing Burke to fall into a downward spiral. Prior to his recruitment as one of Lincoln’s underbosses, Burke frequented Duffy’s Irish Pub where he drank to excess, and nine weeks prior to Lincoln’s resurrection, he drunkenly confronted Barbieri and his men at his deli where he fired nine rounds from his gun, failing to hit anyone, prompting Barbieri’s men to lay down a beating on him and throw Burke into a dumpster.
Getting Back at The Butcher
Burke is confronted by Lincoln outside Duffy’s, where he is offered the chance to join his crusade against the Marcanos as one of his lieutenants. Burke rebukes the offer and tells Lincoln that he doesn’t have the balls, but later reconsiders when Lincoln hijacks his car and drives recklessly in it.
Lincoln drives Burke back to his salvage yard, where he finds out about The Butcher’s rackets. After Lincoln seizes control of both rackets, Burke calls Barbieri directly, warning the man that he’ll be waiting for him at the salvage yard. Lincoln, together with Burke and his daughter Nicki, thwart an attack on the salvage yard by the Butcher’s men.
After taking out his men, Lincoln and Burke approach a wounded Barbieri, who had arrived at the salvage yard to deal with Burke himself, and knock him out with his Kalashnikov. An unconscious Barbieri is then dragged into the workshop, where either Lincoln or Burke viciously beat him to death before dumping his body in the Mississippi River. Following this, Burke becomes one of Lincoln’s lieutenants.
Burke has terminal liver cancer and has been told he has six to eight months to live. More than anything he wants to do right by his daughter Nicki. He has Lincoln steal cars and boats, telling him they’re for the I.R.A, when he’s actually selling them to build up something to leave his daughter when he dies.
Burke is an ill-tempered, reckless and volatile individual. He’s someone who would shoot first and think about the consequences later. He has some racist tendencies, but not so much that he wouldn’t work with Lincoln to take down Marcano. Burke is capable of extreme cruelty to individuals who have wronged him, torturing Roman Barbieri slowly by breaking his legs into pieces before killing him. Despite his less than saintly temperament, Burke does show deep love for his children. He was absolutely devastated when his son Danny died, drowning his sorrows in booze before Lincoln recruited him. He is also quite aware how much he has hurt Nicki because of his disapproval of her sexual orientation, seeking to build a smuggling operation for her before he dies of his illness.
Nothing is known of Thomas Burke’s fate if Lincoln decides to stay and rule New Bordeaux. However, he was suffering from liver cancer, so if he and Lincoln managed to get through the takeover of the Marcano Crime Family without any betrayal, it is assumed he passed away soon after. What became of the Irish Mob is unknown.
If Lincoln leaves New Bordeaux and Thomas Burke assumes control of the city, his daughter Nicki explains that his liver was riddled with cancer and he should have only lived another six months, but Burke used the money Lincoln left him to go to Mexico and get a black market transplant, allowing him to live another sixteen years. He flooded the city with booze, then expanded into drugs, first heroin and then cocaine. He used the same infrastructure he’d set up for moonshining, and within a year or so, most of the cocaine entering the country came through New Bordeaux.
Burke became one of the wealthiest men in the southern United States. He bought himself a seat on the city council and got the township’s name legally changed to Bourbon City. But all the cocaine only attracted other criminals, and Burke went to war with a Cuban gang. There were shoot-outs in the streets, car bombs, and a brothel burned to the ground. When the Cubans called him out, Burke came armed with an M-60 and grenades. He killed eight men before they put him down. That was 1984, and since then, no one has sat on the throne for more than a few months. New Bordeaux is still a lawless fool’s paradise.
Terry Daly is an explosives expert who can supply the Arms Dealer with unique high-grade explosive devices.
Fiona Davidson has connections within the New Bordeaux Police Department that can be bribed to back off of Lincoln Clay.
Hank McGahee is an expert car thief who will deliver vehicles to Lincoln anywhere in the city.
- Patrick Burke (father, deceased)
- Sarah Burke (wife, deceased)
- Danny Burke (son, deceased)
- Nicki Burke (daughter)
- The Home Fires Burn
- The Blade Stained Red
- Brave New World
- Sit Down
- I.R.A. Don’t Ask
- Look in the Mirror
- Roman Barbieri (lieutenant, Marcano Crime Family)
He wears a Hawaiian shirt and leather jacket, similar to Joe Barbaro from Mafia II.
Burke is represented by a green Irish Celtic icon.
He can be heard singing “A Nation Once Again” by Thomas Osborne Davis in various parts of the game, as well as “The Last Rose of Summer” by Thomas Moore.
At the end of Brave New World, Burke tells Lincoln that Nicki is usually at the distillery when she isn’t out out quail huntin’. When Lincoln replies that quail isn’t in season, Burke states “For her kind, it’s always in season.” This is a derogatory reference to Nicki’s homosexuality, Quail being an old slang term for women.
If Burke betrays Lincoln and is killed, his name does not appear on the Burke family tomb at Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Pointe Verdun.