Monday, February 26, 2007

Father Ted's legacy pulls pint-swilling, married nuns

On a lighter note, The Times reports on the annual festival and "pilgrimage" to the island where the popular Channel 4 TV programme Father Ted may or may not have been set.

"Sister Deborah Gallagher was having a hard time lighting a cigarette while trying to stop her habit from being blown clean away by the wind.

Up to 1,000 fans of Father Ted had descended on the island to pay homage to the sit-com. Muttering “Feck!”, “Drink!” and “Erse!” and dressed as nuns, priests, cardinals and devils, they more than doubled the population. The only genuine priest on the island was nowhere to be seen; instead, the festival blessing was performed by a Celtic “druid”.

The decision to hold the festival on Inis Mor, which has one hotel, three pubs and a handful of B&Bs, sparked a dispute with people living on neighbouring Inis Oirr, who said that they were the real Craggy islanders because a shipwreck featured in the show’s opening sequence is a landmark of their coastline.

The row was settled on the beach with a five-a-side football match, the two teams managed by the footballers John Aldridge and Tony Cascarino. The score was 2-0 to Inis Mor."