Maxine Donnelly (born 1990) is a carefree, spirited, and clever young woman who was introduced in the second episode of Series 6 when Carl Gallagher, after having his arm casted, briefly did volunteer work at the local hospital. Maxine also became a good friend of Debbie Gallagher's, while simultaneously having a minor fling with Carl. She worked as an auxiliary nurse, and frequently accompanied Debbie on nights out and shopping trips, or more accurately, shoplifting clothes, and often came up with creative tactics of eluding security staff. Later in the series, she became even more infatuated with Carl, despite being frustrated with what she described as his "Benny Hill-character" behaviour and they became a couple.

In Series 7, Maxine, increasingly disillusioned by Carl's immaturity, secretly aborted his unborn baby, but she later told Carl, which infuriated him enough to make him end their relationship. She moved in with Ian after her breakup with Carl. She later took Ian to a party at her parents house under the pretence that Ian was her doctor boyfriend. She told Ian that her family sees her as a "fuck-up." After witnessing the disparaging remarks from Maxine's father about his daughter, Ian defended her. This lead to an unexpected romance between Ian and Maxine, which in turn lead to a fight and a strained relationship between Ian and Carl as well as Maxine and Carl and Maxine and Micky.

A local thug named Jimmy killed a boy who took advantage of his sister, and he framed Carl and Chesney for the crime, forcing them to flee Chatsworth. Maxine was one of the few people who was concerned about Carl's disappearance. Ian tried to convince her not to get involved, but she persisted and confronted Jimmy resulting in his sister hitting her in the back of the head with a pool cue. Ian felt ashamed that he did nothing to help her, and he confronted Jimmy in an attempt to tape a confession but Jimmy savagely beat him. Ian's sense of worthlessness lead him to withdraw from everyone as well as leaving him unable to perform sexually with Maxine. As she continued to help clear Carl's name, Ian bitterly accused her of caring more about Carl than she did him. Maxine helped convince Jimmy's sister to go to the police, but there was little time for celebration as Ian continued to give her and Carl the cold shoulder. Maxine told him that she was leaving him, but not because of Carl. Carl found Maxine at hospital and admitted to her that she was right to abort their child. When she tried to tell him she was steering clear of the Gallagher brothers because of the damage she had done to their relationship, Carl tried to get her to reconsider, telling her he was her mate, but Ian is her soul mate. Ian arrived and he and Maxine shared sheepish grins, resuming their relationship.

They broke up in the last episode of season 7, on account of her not trusting Ian to never be attracted to men again, and Maxine hasn't been seen since...

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