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Father Ted actor McSorley owns up to damaging flower pots

By Gerry McLaughlin

Published 14/09/2016

Gerard McSorley
Gerard McSorley

A star of the Father Ted comedy from Northern Ireland has admitted damaging two flower pots at a bank.

Gerard McSorley, a 66-year-old Omagh native, pleaded guilty at Dungloe District Court to causing criminal damage to two flower pots at the Bank of Ireland in Bunbeg in the Donegal Gaeltacht on June 16.

The defendant has appeared in major films like Braveheart and Veronica Guerin.

But he is best known for playing Fr Todd Unctious in the Father Ted Christmas special episode, A Christmassy Ted.

Inspector Denis Joyce told the court that the defendant had roared and shouted in the bank and had broken a flower pot inside the building.

McSorley, whose address was given as Cul na Toinne, Maghaerclogher, Bunbeg, had also broken a flower pot outside the bank on June 16. The incident was captured on security cameras.

When gardai called at the actor's home to question him about the matter, he made a full admission and apologised for his actions.

The court was told the defendant had previous convictions for using insulting, threatening and abusive behaviour and being drunk and a danger to himself and others.

Defence solicitor Jacqui Sharkey said her client "regretted very much" the matters before the court.

He had had his health difficulties over the years.

The defendant was a very calm individual, and was well liked in Bunbeg, where he had been living for quite some time, the court heard.

The amount of compensation needed was €40. The Donegal court was told that this would be forwarded to the bank.

Judge Paul Kelly said this was not the worst case to come before the courts.

The judge said he would apply the Probation Act as soon as the money was paid.

In the hit Channel 4 comedy Father Ted, Fr Unctious is remembered as a priest who turns up at the Craggy Island parochial house at Christmas claiming to be an old friend of Ted's - who has no memory of him.

While Ted attempts desperately to guess his name, Unctious wanders into his bedroom in his underpants and shows off some intimate scars gained in a car accident which prevented him from attending a Dana concert with Ted.

It later turns out that Unctious is not his real name, and he is in fact a thief hell-bent on stealing Ted's Golden Cleric award after he started hitting the altar wine hard.

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