Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Craggy islanders at war in bid to host Ted Fest

A Ted solution to a Ted problem. So, how do you decide if the annual gathering of Fr Ted wannabes should be on Inis Mor or its sister island, Inis Oirr?

Last year the Ted Fest organisers settled on a football match between the two Aran Islands to decide the issue. All thought it was done and dusted when Inis Mor won out.



But, with their noses firmly out of joint, back came the islanders of Inis Oirr this year. Seems they now want to make it the best of three. Kind of.



They've spent the weekend peering enviously over the top of the middle island Inis Meain at dozens of Mrs Doyles, Fr Jacks, Elvis impersonators and Fr Stones, all having a hell of a recession-busting time on Inis Mor.



And then there's all that money going to the local pubs and guesthouses. Well, if Inis Oirr has its way, it'll only be resting there temporarily.



After all, the entire Fr Ted series was actually based on Inis Oirr, the smallest of the three Aran Islands.



"It appears they've been harbouring a bit of a grudge since last year," admitted Ted fest organiser Peter Phillips.



"The Inis Oirr people approached us last weekend and we had a bit of a meeting. They invited us over for a couple of days and it's a lovely little island. We even saw the wreck of the Plessy which features in the opening credits of the Fr Ted series.



"But we thought it had all been decided on the strength of the football match last year and the weekend has gone great here. I'm not sure if they want to go for best of three with another couple of football matches in the offing, but we'll have to sit down and consider the Inis Oirr offer," Mr Phillips added. Regardless of the venue, it seems that the magic of the Dermot Morgan-inspired character lives on and on.



Tickets for the Ted Fest 09 Weekend were limited to a couple of hundred and were snapped up like lightning. The Inis Morians also entered into the spirit of the madcap weekend, thanks to 100 reserved tickets allocated by the Friends of Ted. And they even provided a couple of contestants for the Ted's Got Talent competition and the Lovely Girls contest.



They found it hard to beat off the visiting competition, however, and Sister Cathy and Sister Claire from a little-known Dublin convent proved their undoubted talent with an unforgettable rendition of the children's song, 'Roll Roll, the Rattling Row'.



Sarah Gallagher (21) from Milford in Donegal walked away with the Lovely Girl competition, while the big prize of the weekend, the Craggy Cup, went to a so-called penalty shootout.



The Pink Flamingos, captained by Dermot Morgan's son, Rob and named after his father's five-a-side team, edged it against the barmaids from the Aran Islands Hotel. The title was decided on the Flamingos greater ability to chip a football into a giant tea-cup.



There was controversy, however, when a dispute over the rules of the crazy golf competition required the intervention of the venerable Bishop Brennan.



On first reading, he decided it was really an ecumenical matter.

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