Ah go on, drop in for tea at Fr Ted’s

They urged her to ‘go on, go on, go on’ — and so she finally did.

The owner of the parochial house, which featured in Father Ted, has decided to transform herself into a real-life Mrs Doyle because she kept being inundated by fans of the classic comedy.

Cheryl McCormack has lived in 19th century Glanquin House, located in a valley on the edge of the Burren in Co Clare, for over 25 years with her farmer husband, Patrick.

But despite its idyllic setting on a 225-acre farm, their instantly recognisable period home has become a mecca for die-hard Ted fans, ever since the last series aired in 1998.

Cheryl, a 50-something New York-born mother-of-five and Clare-born Patrick, said on some days up to 50 fans would arrive unannounced at the gates of the house to pay homage to their heroes.

Cheryl insists she’s had little choice but to turn herself into Mrs Doyle and invite fans inside for tea and cakes “for the sake of my sanity”.

“I love it here and have lived here for 25 years with Patrick, who inherited the house. But in recent years more and more people kept turning up at the gate taking pictures. “You’d get up to 50 fans outside some days and sometimes it would get so choc-a-bloc with people that it would be hard for me to get back in through my front door.

“One time there was a load of streakers running around outside. I started to get a bit sick of it.”

But Cheryl decided to cash in on the non-stop interest in her home by entertaining fans with ‘Tea at Father Ted’s House’.

Such is the interest from fans, many who make the pilgrimage from as far as Australia, that she hopes to be serving up home-made treats and of course, copious pots of tea, every day by the summer.

“It started sporadically last summer and really got going in January. We’ve all sorts that book in and we take groups of up to 10 at a time. We’ve also had girls on hen weekends, with everyone dressed up as Mrs Doyle and stag-dos, with lads dressed up as Ted or Dougal or Jack.

“I love Father Ted myself anyway, but I wouldn’t be as big a follower as the people that come here. But the series played a big part in our lives. We were here when several scenes were shot in the house and everyone who watched the show knows what the outside looks like.”

* fathertedshouse.com


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