Holy row erupts as islands battle over Fr Ted festival

A ROW has broken out between two neighbouring Aran Islands off Co Galway over an inaugural Father Ted festival next month.

Inis Mór, the largest of the three isles, is planning a three-day Friends of Ted event to mark the ninth anniversary of the death of comic Dermot Morgan, the star of the Channel 4 series.

However, Inis Oirr, the smallest of the islands, believes it has a bigger claim over Father Ted because local scenes, including the famous Plassey shipwreck, are shown in the opening scenes of the hit comedy.

Inis Mór was given an off-season cash injection as dozens of Father Ted fans rushed to book hotels, hostels and B&Bs for the February 23-25 festival.

However one B&B owner on Inis Oirr said: “It’s unfair that Inis Mór is cashing in on Father Ted when obviously we have closer links with the show. Fans and tourists would have come here in the past just to view the Plassey shipwreck.

“Inis Mór is trying to pull a fast one to be honest and we’re not very impressed.”

The Friends of Ted event features a bizarre array of themed events associated with the comedy series such as the Father Jack Cocktail Evening, the Father Dougal Breakfast Movie Charades, the Lovely Girls Contest and Charity Auction and A Song for Europe.

Also featured on the bill is the Toilet Duck Comedy Awards, Crazy Golf, Hide A Nun and Seek, Ludo Aerobics, Buckeroo Speed Dating and a Ferrero Rocher Quiz Night.

Fancy dress five-aside football will also pit priests against nuns on the island.

The event is organised by Friends of Ted group established to organise an annual celebration of the comedy series, on the weekend closest to Morgan’s death.

The group has set up a website devoted to the festival called www.friendsofted.org.

The organisers hope to limit the event to 100 lucky fans and a proportion of ticket sales will go towards Croi, the West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation.

Father Ted is set on Craggy Island but was shot at various locations in Co Clare such as Ennis, Kilfenora, Ennistymon, and Kilnaboy.

The parochial house is at Glenquin, near Kilnaboy. All interior scenes were shot in London.

Written by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan, Father Ted ran for three seasons on Channel 4 between April 1995 and May 1998.

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