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Billy Costigan's uncle Jackie is mentioned in The Departed with Queenan and Dignam, then again during Sullivan's briefing scene. How was he important to Frank Costello's crew?

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It's never mentioned what his exact role was. All we know is that he was working for Costello as a probably not too important but loyal mobster.

We learn that he probably was no stranger to violence when Costello approaches Billy:

Costello [Talking about Billies father] No. He kept his own counsel. He never wanted money. You can't do anything with a man like that. You're Uncle Jackie - he also would kill my entire fucking family if he saw me here with you. And I think about this.

So Costello is implying that Jackie was a different man than his brother William Costigan. He spoke his mind and could be motivated with money.

A later conversation makes it clear that Jackie had earned his trust in the crew:

Frank Costello: [talking about Costigan] Do you trust him?
Mr. French: Well these days, who's reliable?
Frank Costello: His uncle Jackie was. Yeah, you can't trust a guy acts like he's got nothing to lose.

He got killed when Billy was still young:

Ellerby: By organized crime in the city, you know who we mean - that's Jackie Costigan, that's an old picture. Jackie met his demise. Last known photograph.

(all quotes taken from IMDB)

That is pretty much all I could find regarding Jackie. He did not play a big role in the movie, the main purpose of the character was to give Billy Costigan a family connection to the mob. He is the reason Costello approached and recruited him, because he knew and trusted Jackie and saw that potential in Jackie's nephew as well.

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