Thursday 8 December 2016

Fr Jack's passing brings sombre end to Tedfest

Frank Kelly's death came as a shock to fans celebrating the Fr Ted festival

Daragh Small

Published 29/02/2016 | 09:07

Genevieve Hamilton, Eimear O'Rourke and Áine Harney from Athlone enjoying the week end at Fr. Ted 10th fest on Inis Mór island, Co. Galway.
Genevieve Hamilton, Eimear O'Rourke and Áine Harney from Athlone enjoying the week end at Fr. Ted 10th fest on Inis Mór island, Co. Galway.

After three days of high jinks on Inis Mor, this year's Tedfest ended on a sombre note as fans of Father Ted learned of the death of Frank 'Fr Jack' Kelly.

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Organiser Peter Phillips said festival-goers were "devastated" by the news, and raised a glass to their hero on the final day of the event.

"Fr Jack will go down as one of the most famous Irish television characters of all time," he said.

"It was poignant that he died on the same date that Dermot Morgan did so many years ago.

John Bottrell and Dorris Gerth enjoying the week end at the 10th Fr. Ted fest on Inis Mór island, Co. Galway.
John Bottrell and Dorris Gerth enjoying the week end at the 10th Fr. Ted fest on Inis Mór island, Co. Galway.

"Tedfest is always on the last weekend of February, and the reason we do it then is because it coincides with Ted's passing."

Mr Phillips said Kelly would be fondly remembered and sadly missed.

Among the hundreds of fans who travelled to the Aran Islands for this year's festival were German Doris Gerth and her partner, Australian John Bottrell, who met at last year's event.

Both had lost their spouses five years earlier and had little inkling they would find love on the craggy island of Inis Mor.

Doris, from Cologne, said she was a late newcomer to both Ireland and Father Ted.

"Father Ted was recommended to me because it was never on German TV. I watched it and I couldn't stop because it was so funny," she said.

She ret-urned to Inis Mor with John at the weekend to celebrate the anniversary of their first meeting.

"We met on my first day of Tedfest last year. We talked - we had the same interest of photography and we both like to travel a lot," said Doris.

"His wife passed away the same year as my husband died.

"Me and John decided to meet in Dublin after last year's festival, and when we said goodbye we were really good friends, but we sent a lot of emails and that was how it worked."

This was John's fourth trip to Tedfest.

"I come from Perth every year for it. I've always been a 'Father Ted fan'," he said. "Myself and Doris met here in Ti Joe Watty's, she walked in the room and I noticed her straight away.

Herald

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