I just went back to work. I work in a school and we have to return after our lovely long holidays. This is not unusual and is my annual event, which I have alluded to before in The Fear and A World of Pure Imagination. I found it tough returning after maternity leave, as is natural. I always quite enjoy the beginning of the year’s creative process too. This term was different again however. This term my school has amalgamated with another school and we were moving site (from our school, all boys) to the other school in the process (all girls) merging to form a co-educational school. We were leaving our home ground and moving into their stomping ground as it were. There has been much debate, talk, tension, excitement, anger and joy over the whole arrangement. It has been challenging, as they say, and there has been two years of this Great Unknown.
Today we finally reached that unknown. We fell down the rabbit hole. We crossed the paths from the old to the new. It felt so different to what I had imagined as these events so often are.
Today was meetings all day, information and dates and details. An amazing amount done and to take in. Our new management were most certainly informing us and today was the proof of a phenomenonal amount of groundwork having been undertaken.
For the staff, this is a quirky day. Many of us didn’t know where the toilets were. The exits. The cups. The spoons.
I can liken the feeling to being at a wedding that may not have come about in the most conventional sense.An amalgamation. A joining. A merger. One spoonful of the wrong ingredient and you could have a powerful explosion…
Here is a list of reasons how an enforced amalgamation of two schools is like a shotgun wedding.
Final Farewells. We had spent so much time saying out farewells to the past. This movement from the old life to a new was much like the tranformation of single to married life, as one of my colleagues actually talked about. I was emotional leaving the old building, old home if you will, but I had said my goodbyes and was ready for this new life, much like a bride on a wedding day.
We were fed, as all good weddings will do. Basic physiological needs were met by management with good old pastries for teabreak and a curry for lunch. Keep people fed, warm and safe and they will be able to fix the rest themselves. I fell on that 11 am Danish like a famished wedding guest to the obligatory bread rolls.
We were unused to the surroundings. At least, our side was. Again like the groom’s family, coming a journey, we were the ones at a loss. Where is this kept? I don’t know that way. How does this work? The bride’s family has the knowledge. The knowledge is power, or so it feels. By the end of the wedding, we will get our bearings. Just in time to Rock the Boat.
Apparel. We were all in our best school gear after a long holiday in casuals and sportswear. Much like a wedding, there was pulling at collars and awkwardness in heels. Nails were gelled. Lipstick applied. Not a sign of a yoga pant. Shuffling about in M&S best but dying to get home and out on the pj’s.
Outward Expressions. There was a lot of jollity and smiles, not overally false ‘face might crack with the strain of faking it’ ones I would say, but nervous and maybe even shy. There was a definite sense of ‘on our best behaviours’ about the whole thing. No one was going to be the one to cause any hassle. At least not until the toasts (to continue an analagy).
Acceptance. There was an immense sense of relief almost. I can imagine there being a type of relief at a wedding that people have pressurised. Much like a forced wedding, we did not choose this path. We were brought together by an external factor and had no choice. Making the best of things is our only choice. Today is the first day I felt an acceptance in the room. We were coming to that stage of the grieving process. We were ready to move on and work with the consequences. The jigsaws might actually be completed.
Speeches. The day was definitely like listening to wedding speeches, all day. Speeches that are a little bit awkward at as an ex may be mentioned unwittingly or a reference to the scandal that got us here in the first place causes raised eyebrows. A ‘don’t mention the war’ mentality. A lot was said, but those things needed to be said. This was the time I really felt like I was at a tense wedding, only I desperately needed the glass of wine a wedding would bring and not just my water bottle.
Hope. I left feeling for hopeful for the future of the school and I think a lot of people leave a wedding feeling the same optimism for a newly married couple, whatever brought the marriage together.
Quite an unusual first day back to work! Hope our hangover stays away and we make it happily to the first anniversary where we will celebrate with a lot of paperwork. Anniversary one is paper, right? Let us deal with day one of the marriage first. A new beginning.
Have you heard of the popular Irish colloqialism ‘away with the fairies’? It basically refers to an individual who may be a dreamer, a fantastist or fanciful. They are usually harmless, but you take all commentary with a pinch of salt. You might smile indulgently at their whimsical attitude. You really wouldn’t take their advice or even directions to the local Spar. You definitely shouldn’t give them a position of power. We shouldn’t have to smile indulgently at manical statements from someone with a seat in the government.
I am aware that being a politician must be be a very tricky business. You can’t please everyone and sometimes you can’t please anyone.
I have already angrily ranted about our government’s lack of productivity in creating an effective health system and the effect on our people. My father being directly affected (see A Disgusting State and Cancelling an Operation when under Anaesthesia? to see my full wrath). I am too emotive to be objective on the topic, but reading about MRI reports being screwed up as a scandal with no comeback, how can emotions not rule? Communication errors are the reason my father still hasn’t been operated on.
So think of this and then imagine how it must feel when you look at the news and hear what Kerry TD, Danny Healy Rae is blathering about in the Dail or as a Dail representative to the media, our centre of state where problems should be fixed.
Just read this report. Danny Healy Rae on Kerry Roads. He is blaming dips in a Kerry road on fairies. This caricature in government has given me a good laugh at times and I love the sketches that Gift Grub can offer on him, but now, in all seriousness, give it a rest. I know I spend most weekends searching for fairies in Lough Boora and more recently The County Arms hotel in Birr (don’t forget Gillighan’s World of Our Sligo Highlights) but this is with and for the indulgences of a three year old and a one year old, and not the nonsense of a middle aged man with a seat in the Dail. I enjoy an old Pishogue as much as the next just not when life should be taken seriously. Watch this clip for Comedian Mario Rosenstock’s impression of TD Danny Healy-rae. A funny clip. I laughed heartedly at it. He just shouldn’t get to sit in the Dail and spout sh@## as he does all the time as you can watch Danny Healy-rae on climate change. Remind you of any insane world leader?
Why have we this joke figure present when our country is making decisions? Obviously, I agree with democracy but really can understand why people would vote for such absurdity. Clearly no one listens to him, if not for comedic reasons, as we see other politicians constantly laughing at his comments on God and the Little People, so why is he wasting a seat in Dublin?
Away with the Fairies? Not just Danny Healy Rae. The Dail itself and the people who put him there.
Let it be said, I don’t have a Healy Rae problem in general. It is just Danny as a representative of the Irish people in government.
Ireland. Get a grip. While our politicians see fairies, our Irish people can’t get operations.
Sick people can’t get funding for medicine. We are living in a nation that can eat steak for dinner, drink Prosecco for brunch but cannot have heart surgery in a reasonable wait period.
I respect people’s religion. I have a love of our sagas and traditional myths. I just think blaming fairies for bad roads and discounting climate control by quoting the Bible story of Noah’s Ark as historical proof is more than a bit ‘Irish’.
We love a laugh in Ireland. Not at our expense though.
With the hard/ soft border controversy being such a big issue at the forefront of Irish politics, I think blogging about a daytrip in this historical park is timely.
I live in the Irish Midlands – south of the border, as they say. I have grown up watching the troubles on the news as one of the Irish who didn’t experience it first hand. I am a history teacher and have some knowledge on the history of our border. I have been ‘over it’ countless times (the border that is) and despite the crossing in the eighties and the now, being a world of a difference, my experiences of the counties have always been the same. I have loved visiting those six counties. I am very, very aware however of the struggles Irish people had in Ulster however and can understand when they feel like we southerners can never fully understand.
My friends and I decided to travel up north for a few days without a second thought. Our main drive was to visit the tourist attraction that is in the post title- The Ulster American Folk park.
I find that I am often painfully aware of the tragedies of Irish history when site seeing and the ironies that it brings. The Famine Memorial statue in Dublin is the most poignant tribute and it never fails to move me. As a country girl, I only ever see it when in the Big Smoke. I am usually only in the capital for entertainment. Therefore I always think of the horrors of the Famine as I have just been wined and dined or about to see David Grey in The Convention Centre or watch Wicked at the Bord Gais. It is like Christmas time. My first memories of Christmas parties in pubs includes large groups of inebriated and happy folk, arms around each other, chanting the sad lyrics of Feed the World (Let them know it’s Christmas Time) as they sweat out the evening’s indulgences in beer, wine and the four course meal that proceeded it. In museums and parks such as this, I always look for the coffee shop and a potentially wonderful array of cake as only an Irish bakery can provide. This time however, I think of me eating chocolate cake and drinking Americanos as more than a bit rich as we are about to learn the stories of people whose have had extremely little to live on. We particularly feel for those on the ships and the dry biscuity goods they lived on- potentially weevil studded. I start feeling like Marie Antoinette- richly oblivious of my life’s good luck.
Therefore I will not blog about this park as just a review, I will refer to how child friendly it is or isn’t out of respect to my parenting blogger friends but will also focus on what I saw in the park and how I feel that stands now.
It is such a terrific idea. The Ulster people are honoring and remembering the folk from their province who emigrated over the years to America in a most innovative fashion, an outdoor museum. It brings us through the journey in a kinaesthetic way following the Mellon family who would become wealthy bankers in the US later on their lives. Firstly there is a centre of pictorial and textual information which brings you through 300 years of emigrants’ stories, looking at the Titanic time also. You then enter the park into an Ireland of old. Firstly rural life of the poor and contrastingly more affluent Irish is portrayed.
Thick with turf smoke, I couldn’t properly photograph the interior of a poverty stricken tenant cottage as my senses could barely stand the smoke impregnated air. It was also hard to see. I feel great sympathy for the lady in the corner who sits there as part of her job! One family of a large number would dwell in a one room home using curtains to divide sleeping space. We marvelled at how people made do in terribly tough circumstances. You pass the cottages on the outskirts and understand how poverty made people survive in cramped, smoky environs. I think of us in our large comfortable houses and cannot help but compare the times. Are we not fortunate? We see the home of a wealthier family, the Mellon family. Again, what is noticeable is the fog of the peat burning.
There is much more space. Whitewashed walls and bread making, potatoes to peel and boil are on show. We see the art of candle and bread making in process. From here, we walk through a local ‘town’, fully recreated and stunning in detail. There are people in full costume at each area, answering questions and teaching us about what we see.
We then walked in through the large doors to a mock shipyard itself and board the typical vessel that emigrants travelled upon.
We hear the stories of illness and tragedies, the hopes, solitudes and fears of the times. I think of when I moved to England for two years. I could travel home easily. I had comfort on those flights, yet the homesickness still ate me alive. I think of these people having to contain both physical and mental emotions and stay strong in the knowledge they may never return. When you leave the ship, you step out on ‘American soil’ : a port laid out as if it were years ago.
We see the pickled foods lined up in the general store and the array of canned goods that a newbie must marvel at. Lima beans? A far cry from home.
The journey continues with you walking the city streets in Pennsylvania and finally out to the homeland that was created by the emigrants lucky to do so. Many examples of homesteads are there to inspect and you really feel as if you are standing on the American soil of the past. The differences in sights and sounds were subtle yet very effective. We noticed more wood use over stone.
There were brighter rooms- lighter colours inside. There was more use of patchwork over wool in counterpanes. Of course, there was no peat. Instead, the scent of log fires replaced it.
We no longer see baskets of turf, but wood piles. My favourite -a large pumpkin patch- accompanied one dwelling. The methods of gatemaking and cabin building with interlocking logs were ingenius.
There are basements to cellars with outdoor entrances and water is carefully channelled to make a cooling room for milk etc. Exploring here is great fun and so different to what we usually see in Ireland. You can’t help but learn about it as you are immersed in it.
So as a historical empathiser, I didn’t have to work too hard. The tour was doing it for me as we were interactively part of this journey.
Would I bring kids? Absolutely. Smaller ones will enjoy the walks, the domestic pets and the occasional hiding robin.
There are toilet facilities all the way around. Older ones may have a chance to open their minds to the historical past and the challenges that existed in Ulster previous to The Troubles and the current political debates. They will see, as I did, the strength in humanity and will see celebrated the tapestry of emigrant life as people because everything from millionaires to swindlers in this new world.
It puts me in mind of the poetry of Eavan Boland and her constant theme of figures ‘outside history’. They may not be named in history books, but they are very much part of our make up. This poem, Outside History has a darkness that I don’t fully feel in this museum of hope, however the first two stanzas stay with me as I travel about the Ulster American Folk Park.
Here are two advertisements that I found intriguing in the park. I will leave you with those.
In Ireland, a good night out is always judged by the amount of laughs, stories and craziness that occurs in the night. On many occasions, these nights out (in my twenties for me, but can be for any age) were ended by a visit to the chipper.
The Irish chain, originated in Ballinasloe, bringing us the snack box, curry or garlic cheese chip is a well known hangover cure. I haven’t been to Supermacs after 9 pm at night for many, many years but I am sure it all still goes on. Deadly queues of drunken, tired, make up encrusted victims of the nightlife. Queue skippers. Death stares. Over ordering. Elbows. On one occasion, I can remember a guy realising that the guy in front of him in the queue was wearing the jacket he had had stolen from him in the nite club. People have words in Supermacs. People have scuffles in Supermacs. Supermacs has doormen at night. Taking your life into your hands for curry cheese chips. I wouldn’t attempt to stand outside Supermacs in a city after midnight. Carnage.
Last Sunday, we brought our children to the swimming pool. Well, my husband brought them in and I watched. Afterwards, we needed to eat. We decided on the Supermacs counter in the Centra garage outside town. Now, before the Food Police attack, we don’t give the girls fast food all the time. Yet there are occasions we need food. Fast. My girls love chippies. They are a treat so this was it.
The were getting hungry at this stage. Hangry! Kids meals were purchased and red sauce distributed.
Betsy gets full quickly and offered her chicken nuggets to myself and Mr Paper. Gigi has a much larger appetite. However, she wanted to share too and offered Daddy a nugget. She wanted to be like Betsy. One subtle difference. You were not expected to actually partake in the offering.
Big mistake. Daddy ate half.
Gigi went nuts. She wanted to offer the food but not actually give it away. There was a full return expected.
-Daddy! You gobbled it all up…YOU GOBBLED IT ALL UP.
Gigi has a temper and it sometimes flares. We don’t see it so much now she is getting older but suddenly the red mist descended.
As all parents know, there are no take backs or second chances in kid world if you cut the sandwich, put gravy on the plate or eat half of the nugget.
I had to hold her back.
I can alway tell by her eyes if she has flipped.
Her eyes told me.
Legs and everything were flaking.
As soon as it starts it stopped.
Gizmo to Gremlin to Gizmo.
So home we went.
After a good day out, a decent laugh and a bit of a scuffle in Supermacs over a chicken nugget.
‘Father Ted’. An Irish comedy institution. Wonderful satire and just a good giggle. On Sunday last, Ireland lost a great comedian and gentleman, star of the nineties Irish hit show ‘Father Ted’ Frank Kelly. Kelly was 77 years old when he passed, after a time of illness. In an interesting twist, he passed away on the 18th anniversary of the passing of his co star, Dermot Morgan who played the protagonist Fr Ted himself.
This may not mean a lot to you in another country. You may never have heard of these comedians or this show. Just believe me when I say that this comedy is not just popular beyond belief in Ireland, but was intrinsic in mirroring our quirky culture to us in a humorous way. Like most successful shows, it made three series only and one special. People may have been insulted in 1995 when the show first aired. Appalled Irish citizens, in disbelief at the blasphemous path this ‘comedy’ was taking. No one had dared take a pop at the priests before and if so, not to this level. Were we allowed laugh? Was it OK to tune in weekly? Should you even mention to the neighbours that you caught ten minutes? Yes, the catholic church has taken many hits in the last twenty years as corruptions are exposed, cover ups revealed and awful tragedies are grieved. Rightly, the Vatican must answer. Yet I do believe that staunchly catholic Ireland was laughing at ‘Father Ted’ before the church was under scrutiny, and as a culture, we felt ‘allowed’ to do so. Originally it was the young who knew the show. Now I would find it impossible to find an Irish person who can’t quote the show at the drop of a hat, identifying situation similiarities in the everyday or who hasn’t nicknmaed a colleague or friend after the show all because of the extreme popularity (and I say genius) of ‘Father Ted’.
I was fifteen when Ted first arrived on our screens. Most certainly it was frowned upon as it was a no holds barred comedic set up of an Irish parochial house, the people living there and Irish catholicism in general. The jokes were risky at the time ( Father Ted being noticeably aroused by attractive writer Polly Clarkson) and it was hardly surprising it wasn’t aired on an Irish TV channels, but a British one. This show was hysterical to us. We always spent the next day at school talking about it. Did you see the bit where Mrs Doyle fell out the window…wasn’t it gas when Jack threw the bottle at the telly. ..God, wasn’t it brilliant when Ted kicked Bishop Brennan up the arse!
Remember, we were the age where ‘Friends’ and ‘My So Called Life’ were taking over TV. ‘X-Files’. ‘ER’ . A golden age! I believe however that Fr Ted by far boasts the most longevity in remaining part of our lives and even filtering our vernacular.
Ted Crilly was placed on Craggy Island, remote, western and free of opportunities for excitement or fun with two priests considered dead losses. Fr Jack is old, alcoholic, sleazy and hates nuns. Hates people too.
Fr Dougal doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together. As Ted quips, ‘ how exactly did you become a priest Dougal was it like collect ten packets of crisps?’.Dougal is played by Ardal O’Hanlon who portrays this young priest as a young boy, innocent and harmless. He is more interested in jam and films and seems oblivious to his position in life. Ted was clearly punished with this placement. This is funny to us as we know it happens in real life. Occasionally Ted has to defend charity bound money that was ‘only resting’ in his account, giving us some idea of the previous scandal he was punished for. Priests don’t get fired. They get punished. Anyone who has seen ‘Spotlight’ will painfully learn how far and wrongly that policy went. Ted is a gentle comedy that addresses these truths making us laugh.
Jack is one of the most iconic fictional characters of my time.’Drink.Feck. Girls’. This catchhrase was so inappropriate and immoral in the nineties, from the mouth of a priest, we giggled in horrified fashion delighted with the naughtiness of it all. Flashbacks into Jack’s past nod to the Christian Brothers’ schools and the revelations of cruelty and violence there. We see him leer at women. We see him shout and roar.
In his retirement, he drinks excessively, even downing the floor polish when nothing else suffices. Jack is an unpleasant, selfish human with no mercy in him. There is nothing funny about this on paper! Frank Kelly brought Jack to life with comedy and we find him hilarious to watch and imagine.Fr Jack on the loose, unsupervised falling into an AA meeting by accident, having his glasses stolen by crows or shoving the Holy Stone of Clonrickert into a Bishop’s butt to shut him up are funny to watch time and time again.
I defy anyone not to laugh at Jack on a roundabout on his chair, open mouthed in delight or telling Mrs Doyle what she can do with her cup of tea. ‘What do you say to a cup Father?’.
Many years ago I did a college diploma in journalism. The graduation ceremony was unusual, unlike my others. We were in a lecture hall in Dublin. Normal. We were called up and given our diplomas. Average. We were made pose as a group on stage smiling at our proud families like the last scene in a children’s nativity. Weird! This strange arrangement afforded me the chance to see who had been sitting behind myself and my family all the time. Frank Kelly. Beside myself, I was almost pointing and shouting to my sister, ‘Behind you, look behind you Father Jack!’. I spent the rest of the ceremony staring whilst trying not to get caught. A distinguished, well spoken gentlemen, proudly smiling with his graduate, it proved what a marvellous comic actor this man was to morph from Phileas Fogg into Jack Hackett for screen.
Recently I blogged about tea. Happily I found a blogging friend, blogging friendKatystuff was interested in what I had to say and I intrigued her with my definitions of ‘tea’. We had a good online chat and she then blogged her versions of tea in the US and her impressions of tea from her Irish genes. This was great! In my fumbling attempts to explain I had directed her to Fr Ted and Mrs Doyle ( the character, housekeeper to the priests) as giving excellent parodies of social occasions in Ireland involving tea! Little was I to know that I would blog about the show so quickly after due to the sad passing of Frank Kelly.
So to Mrs Doyle. Smiling, yet harried.Stooping, craggy and prune faced, yet full of energy.
This character satirises the traditional stereotyped Irish woman. The Mammy. The housekeeper. The working woman. She is expected to wear skirts. She is expected to cook and clean. She blatantly laughs at the good of a female lawyer arriving to the house from Corless, Corless and Sweeney. She is appalled by women who act outside their stereotype. Mrs Doyle can be found on the kitchen or scrubbing. Hyperbole is used beautifully to highlight the point as Mrs Doyle makes tea, sandwiches, and cleans but takes her role to the next level. She loves the milkman. She is obsessed with a country singer called Eoin McLove (thinly disguised Daniel O’Donnell). She also works on the roof. Digs holes in the garden. Baths Dougal McGuire.
Playing up a sexist Ireland is vital to the comedy of this show. From Mrs Doyle to parodying yearly actual Irish event ( not a pageant seemingly) ‘The Rose of Tralee’ with their own ‘Lovely Girls Competition’, we watched our attitudes on screen and laughed at ourselves.
I like to think we are much less sexist here now. I recently watched reruns of the US Celebrity Apprentice from 2012 and was bewildered at attitudes and comments that we would shun here now as unequal and sexist. Trump and his family (looking suspiciously like Twilight’s Volturi) barely bat an eye.
Maybe Ireland is progressing past its peers? After all we have had two female presidents in the last twenty years! This is a topic for again however as I don’t want to shake temperaments pre a US election! Who knows what’s coming down the line!
Lenton sacrifices also get the Ted treatment. The boys are challenged by their dreaded enemies, the priests on Rugged Island, led by Fr Dick Byrne, to a glorified ‘giving things up’ competition. The temptations of alcohol, cigarettes and, um, rollerblading pose an impossibility to give up and the big guns are called in. Boot camp style nun Sister Assumpta!! The tactics employed by the sister are questionable…and hysterical.
The lasting image however from the lenten episode is that of that of John from ‘John and Mary’, shop owners in a ‘behind closed doors’ mutually violent relationship that is always glossed over as marvellous in public, smoking in front of a fasting Ted. The words ‘lovely fags’ (slang for cigarettes) pop up on screen as he thoroughly enjoys the tobacco intake. On many occasions have I seen someone desperately trying to quit the habit with the same look on their face.
‘Fr Ted’ made the nineties unforgettable by placing many of its memorable moments in front of us. Like I said before, placing a mirror to our culture, showing us the truth but making us laugh. In the nineties, Ireland had a spate of wins with Eurovision, we were getting cocky with our talents! Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh and Eimear Quinn brought us three outright wins. The funny part is that along with kudos and glory part of the prize is getting to host the competition the following year. By win three, the Irish bank balance was looking dodgy and the organisers were getting itchy. It became widely thought that we deliberately sent our lesser powerful songs as we almost tried to lose the game. We just hadn’t the funds! The same thing happens in Ted. Ted and Dougal’s terrible but extremely memorable ballad ‘My Lovely Horse’ is brought to Eurovision much to their delight. Carefully chosen due to its awfulness, it gains ‘nul points’ across the board. Years later, many a busy Saturday night in Dublin,Cork or Galway, the lyrics to the wonderful ‘My Lovely Horse’ can be heard belted out across a joyful crowd. I have often given a bar or two of it myself.
My lovely horse Listen to the wonderful tune and watch the video somewhat inspired by country Irish band Foster and Allen!
Ireland’s teens were hooked! We were to see ourselves reflected however, in all our arrogant,somewhat over privileged, hormone raging, video gaming obsessed states through the character of Fr Damo. Fr Damo, bad influence on Dougal encourages rebelliousness and cheek, just wants to play games and even does the odd bit of smoking and stealing. Right on trend he puts the big question of the time to Dougal: ‘Oasis or Blur?’. It was so accurate. You just weren’t allowed listen to both in our nineties school, one or the other, as the feud between the bands found its way to the playground. The pop version of choosing between Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Your entire street credit rate depended on your answer …and who you were talking to!
The show also addressed the idea of censorship by the church in the most comical fashion with long lasting effects. ‘The Da Vinci Code’ film wasn’t to air until 2006. I remember I was travelling at the time and watched it in a Lima cinema. Everyone recalls the controversial aspects of the film and the reaction of the Vatican. I don’t remember a priest actually picketing an Omniplex, yet their side and opinions were clear- and often addressed from the pulpit. ‘Fr Ted’ managed to predict the reaction however with the arrival in the Craggy Island cinema of blue movie ‘The Passion of St Tibulus’.
Ted and Dougal are ordered by the authoritarian somewhat Stalinesque Bishop Len Brennan to picket the cinema and oppose the film .
Naturally they have to see it first to know what the problem is. They then take to the picket. Jack doesn’t bat an eye as he barrels past them to have a look at the potentially raunchy blockbuster. The whole plot is a brilliant send up of censorship and the power of the church to stop people from reading or watching unsuitable material. Harry Potter novels and Dan Brown’s famous thriller were to get this treatment in their course. I love that these books and novels came after the creators of the comedy showed us and were based on previous banned books and films such as Edna O Brien’s magnificent offerings.
In Ireland, when strikes are mentioned, tempers flaring and contentious issues may be raised, someone is sure to say, ‘Down with that sort of thing!’ and get the cautious reply, ‘Careful now…’ with the exact motions and gestures of Ted and Dougal. They are assured to win a wry laugh!
In truth, this hit was a stroke of genius from comedy writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews.
The casting magic team of Morgan, O’Hanlon, McLynn and the marvellous Kelly (alongside many, many other smaller roles by excellent actors)never miss a beat. We learned to laugh at ourselves. This generation can have faith without fear. We now have a voice that Ireland was indeed missing. ‘Fr Ted’ has played a key role in giving us this freedom. Immorality, blasphemy and anarchy may now be available to us- but look at us! Now that we are ‘allowed’ chose, we really have chosen wisely. Ireland is now wonderfully more open minded. Look at our recent track record.We may not be perfect. Like Bus Eireann however, we are getting there! All by ourselves! Thank you Ted, Jack and Dougal.