Wednesday 24 January 2018

'Fr Ted' star Ardal and brother at odds over marriage vote

Ardal O'Hanlon
Ardal O'Hanlon
Rory O'Hanlon, brother of Father Ted star, Ardal O'Hanlon

Ryan Nugent

The brother of comedian Ardal O'Hanlon is campaigning nationwide against same-sex marriage - but he has failed to convince the 'Father' Ted star to vote 'No' in the upcoming referendum.

Rory O'Hanlon, son of former Fianna Fáil TD Dr Rory O'Hanlon, has been distributing pamphlets against same-sex marriage ahead of the May 22 voting day.

However, the '10 reasons why homosexual marriage is harmful and must be opposed' pamphlet was not enough to change the mind of his younger brother.

Ardal, best known for his role as Fr Dougal McGuire, is not on the same side as the Catholic Church on this particular issue.

"I'll be voting 'Yes' and that's no secret," Ardal told the Irish Independent. "I believe in equal rights for all members of society, so it's a no-brainer for me."

But his older brother Rory echoed the view of Dublin footballer Ger Brennan, who wrote in the Irish Independent on Wednesday, stating that a child should have the right to a mother and father where possible.

The Referendum Commission has said that surrogacy and adoption rights will not be affected by the outcome of the marriage-equality referendum.

But Rory said: "You need male and female influences in your household, to give the child a better chance of getting over the many obstacles they face. It's about the child's happiness.

"I can foresee consequences if the State advocate it. Schools would have to teach children that same-sex marriage is normal and that's not right."

Rory is the secretary for the Irish Society for Christian Civilisation (ISFCC). Its website describes it as a group of "Irish Catholics concerned about the multiple crises shaking every aspect of Irish and European life".

The 50-year-old insisted that the Government should not be encouraging its citizens to vote for what he calls a "moral wrong" and should pay more attention to the 10 Commandments.

"I wouldn't expect the State to enforce them, but they should certainly not encourage turning a moral wrong into a civil right," said Rory.

Rory, whose father was a TD for Cavan-Monaghan for over 30 years, slammed opposition parties in the Dáil for backing the Government on their 'Yes' stance.

"The Opposition used to be good at questioning the Government, but they've all turned into a single party on issues like this," he said.

'No' campaigners visited Limerick last week where Rory believes just as many people they spoke to were against same-sex marriage as were for it.

The campaigners were in Kerry yesterday and look set to hit Dublin and Cork in the coming days.

Irish Independent

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