Father Ted Festival blessed by 'clergy'

Hundreds of “priests” and “nuns” gathered tonight for the official blessing of the Father Ted Festival in Ireland.

Hundreds of “priests” and “nuns” gathered tonight for the official blessing of the Father Ted Festival in Ireland.

Presiding cleric Dara Molloy told the faithful in Kilfenora, Co Clare, it would be a week of extremes.

“There has been extreme weather forecast,” he said.

Pilgrims who had travelled from as far as Tokyo and the fictional Craggy Island jeered back “Feck off” and “Drink, drink, drink”.

And there was plenty of this at the Ecumeniceilli (ecumenical dance) inside the small Vaughans Pub in the small village in the West of Ireland.

But Father Molloy insisted it was also a week to remember Father Ted himself, the late actor Dermot Morgan.

“It’s been 10 years since Dermot died,” he said. “That will make many of us feel sad, yet we’re here to have a festival, to feel happy and remember the times he made us laugh.”

And with that the holy gathering officially began the week chanting “God Bless Ted, God Bless Ted…”

Yoko Nozaki, who is handing out chocolates to the bishops, travelled from Tokyo especially for Tedfest II.

She said the cult sitcom has been helping her learn English.

“I’m a huge fan,” she said. “It’s not shown in Japan but I come to Ireland a lot and I picked up the DVD at the airport.

“I watched it with the sub titles to improve my English and learn about Irish culture and humour.”

Brendan Leydon, nine, was without doubt the youngest Father Dougal at the blessing.

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