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Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 08:54 GMT
Craggy islands row over Father Ted
Dermot Morgan, Ardal O'Hanlon, Pauline McLynn and Frank Kelly
Dermot Morgan, Ardal O'Hanlon, Pauline McLynn and Frank Kelly
A row has broken out between two remote Irish islands over an inaugural Father Ted festival next month.

Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands off County Galway, is planning a three-day "Friends of Ted" event.

They want to mark the ninth anniversary of the death of comic Dermot Morgan, the star of the Channel 4 series.

However, Inis Oirr, the smallest of the islands, believes it has a bigger claim over Father Ted because local scenes, including the Plassey shipwreck, are shown in the opening scenes of the hit comedy.

Inis Mor has been given an off-season cash injection as dozens of Father Ted fans have rushed to book hotels, hostels and B&Bs for the festival which runs from 23 - 25 February.

However, one B&B owner on Inis Oirr said: "It's unfair that Inis Mor is cashing in on Father Ted when, obviously, we have closer links with the show.

"Fans and tourists would have come here in the past, just to view the Plassey shipwreck. Inis Mor is trying to pull a fast one to be honest and we're not very impressed."

The Friends of Ted event features an array of themed events associated with the comedy series, such as the Father Jack Cocktail Evening, the Father Dougal Breakfast Movie Charades, the Lovely Girls Contest and Charity Auction and A Song for Europe.

Frank Kelly as Father Jack
Drink! Feck! Girls! - Frank Kelly as Father Jack

Also featured on the bill are the Toilet Duck Comedy Awards, Crazy Golf, Hide A Nun and Seek, Ludo Aerobics, Buckeroo Speed Dating and a Ferrero Rocher Quiz Night.

Fancy dress five-aside football will also pit priests against nuns on the island.

The organisers hope to limit the event to 100 lucky fans and a proportion of ticket sales will go towards Croi, the West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation.

Father Ted is set on the fictitious Craggy Island but was shot at various locations in County Clare such as Ennis, Kilfenora, Ennistymon, and Kilnaboy.

The parochial house is at Glenquin, near Kilnaboy. All interior scenes were shot in London.

Written by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan, Father Ted ran for three seasons on Channel 4 between April 1995 and May 1998.

It is currently being screened on BBC America and is repeated frequently on Channel 4, More4 and RTE Two.

'Drink!'

The hit comedy spawned a string of catchphrases and launched the careers of Ardal O'Hanlon as Father Dougal, a simple minded priest, manic housekeeper Pauline McLynn and veteran actor Frank Kelly who won over younger audiences as an alcoholic lay-about who randomly shouted: "Drink! Feck! Girls!"

The show won a BAFTA award for Best Comedy in 1996 while Morgan won a BAFTA for Best Actor and Pauline McLynn scooped the Best Actress award.

Dermot Morgan died aged 45 on 28 February 1998 after he suffered a heart attack at his home just 24 hours after finishing the recording of the last episode of Father Ted.

More information on the Friends of Ted festival is available on www.friendsofted.org.


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