Father Ted Festival kicks off in Clare

A week-long festival celebrating cult television sitcom Father Ted kicks off today in Co Clare.

A week-long festival celebrating cult television sitcom Father Ted kicks off today in Co Clare.

The Lovely Girls contest, Craggy Island World Cup, the Golden Cleric awards and Buckaroo speed dating are among the highlights of TedFest II.

The event will mark the 10th anniversary of the filming of the last episode of the series set around the mishaps of three Catholic priests on the fictional Craggy Island.

Organisers astounded at last year’s massive demand for tickets for the festival have split the event between two locations.

Kilfenora village in Co Clare – where the priest’s house is actually located and where many of the scenes in the hit series were shot – will host events between today and Wednesday.

Then the action will switch to Inis Mór – an island off the Co Galway coast which hosted the inaugural TedFest last year after an unholy row with a neighbouring island for the rights to stage it.

Scriptwriters Arthur Matthews and Graham Linehan will be returning to Kilfenora to unveil a plaque to commemorate the area’s unique connection with Father Ted.

An “evening of conversation and memories” will be hosted by the co-writers in the local community hall.

The final regional heat for the Lovely Girls contest will take place in a local barn before the action then switches to Inis Mor on Saturday and Sunday.

The surreal fun continues with the five-aside football for priests and nuns, the Craggy Island World Cup and Buckaroo speed dating.

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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