Tedfest gets too big for 'Craggy Island'

A festival celebrating cult television sitcom Father Ted has become too big for “Craggy Island”, organisers said today.

A festival celebrating cult television sitcom Father Ted has become too big for “Craggy Island”, organisers said today.

Many of the events for this year’s extended week-long carnival will be held in Co Clare, on the mainland, because Inis Mor can only hold about 200 visitors.

The small island off the Co Galway coast hosted the inaugural TedFest last year after an unholy row with a neighbouring island for the rights to stage it.

“Every single bed on the island is taken up, it’s incredible,” said Fergal McGrath, one of the organisers.

“We managed to create an extra 100 tickets by shuffling around the venue but the demand is just nuts.

“But I think the place to be will be Kilfenora in Co Clare because the writers Arthur Matthews and Graham Linehan will be coming back there to take a bow for what they’ve achieved.”

TedFest II will mark the tenth anniversary of the filming of the last episode of the series set around the mishaps of three Catholic priests on the fictional Craggy Island.

Highlights include the 'World’s Biggest Cup of Tea', the 'Lovely Girls' contest, 'Song for Europe', the 'Golden Cleric awards' and Buckaroo speed dating.

The opening ceremony and blessing kicks off on February 25 in Kilfenora.

Matthews and Linehan unveil a plaque to commemorate the area’s unique connection with Father Ted.

McGrath said the organisers are astounded at the massive demand for tickets for the second year of the festival.

“The TV series itself is kind of a celebration of silliness or ridiculousness or happiness – I don’t know,” he said.

“But it just works and it’s amazing the good will people have for it.”

Father Ted originally ran for three seasons on Channel 4 between April 1995 and May 1998.

Dermot Morgan, who played Father Ted, died of a heart attack just 24 hours after finishing the recording of the last episode on February 28, 1998.

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