Gail’s father, William McConnell (35), was murdered by the IRA, on the 6th of March, 1984, outside his home in Ballyhackamore in East Belfast. He was shot as he checked his car for booby trap bombs. Gail and her mother witnessed the attack. Gail was 3 years old. She was an only child. William was an assistant governor at the Maze prison. Gail’s poetry collection “The Sun Is Open” published in 2021, addresses the death of her father.