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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 13:41 GMT
World Cup stars sign for Fr Ted
Dermot Morgan, Ardal O'Hanlon, Pauline McLynn and Frank Kelly
Father Ted is being celebrated over three days
The saga of the inaugural Father Ted festival has taken another twist with Irish World Cup stars John Aldridge and Tony Cascarino signing up.

The three-day "Friends of Ted" event takes place this weekend on Inis Mor, the largest of the three remote Aran Islands off County Galway.

After neighbouring Inis Oirr claimed it should be the real Craggy Island, it was decided a five-a-side football match was the only solution.

And Aldridge and Cascarino will need to

draw on all their international experience, as the match is being played to avoid a diplomatic incident.

The stakes are high, as the losing side will have to make do with the honour of spending the next year representing Rugged Island, the home of Father Ted's nemesis Father Dick Byrne.

John Aldridge, pictured during the 1994 World Cup in the USA
John Aldridge starred for the Republic of Ireland in 1994 World Cup
The festival was organised by a group of friends from Galway to mark the ninth anniversary of the death of comic Dermot Morgan, the star of the Channel 4 series.

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.

The event has generated so much publicity that Dublin-based bookmaker Paddy Power has even begun taking bets on the outcome of the match.

At the time of writing, the away side, Inis Oirr, are marginal 8/11 favourites while Inis Mor are evens.

A rival bookmaker ranks Aldridge as one of the favourites for the Republic of Ireland job in the event of current boss Steve Staunton being sacked, so at the very least, the match should give him vital experience.

The festival 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.

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.


SEE ALSO
Peace plan for Craggy Island row
25 Jan 07 |  Northern Ireland
Craggy islands row over Father Ted
22 Jan 07 |  Northern Ireland

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