Belfast Telegraph

Ah go on: Father Ted's Mrs Doyle knits jumpers for featherless hens to be rescued from the slaughterhouse

By Claire Williamson

She is best known for her role as the relentless and persuasive tea-maker in the comedy Father Ted.

But now actress Pauline McLynn, who was famed for her infamous catchphrase "a go on",  is instead making woollen body warmers for thousands of scrawny, featherless birds due to be rescued from battery farms.

The channel 4 sitcom Father Ted focused on three priests living on a remote island off the coast of Ireland with Ms McLynn playing the much-loved housekeeper.

Ms McLynn is patron of Little Hill Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in County Kildare which is on a mission to re-home more than 7,000 battery hens.

The birds have spent their lives in cages and as a result have no feathers to keep warm.

Ms McLynn has thrown her support behind the campaign and is knitting "A go on" tea-cosy-like jumpers to keep them warm.

The charity has posted a knitting patteron online to show supporters how they can make their own little hen jumpers.

Among the 'A Go On!' creations include titles on the knitted jumpers such as Little Red Hen, Green Goddess, Hennis the Menace and Orange is the New Black.

Ms McLynn told RTE: "Their beaks are clipped, they've never stretched their wings and their feathers haven't grown because they've just been involved in laying eggs for their entire little lives.

"When they come out they are bald and it's really cold so I'm knitting jumpers for them."

Last year the charity rescued thousands of hens from slaughter and re-home them all around Ireland.

This month the animal sanctuary is attempting to repeat that this year.

The charity said: "(They) have lived in dark, desolate, barren cages for just over a year now.

 "They have never seen the outside world, felt the sun on their back or any kindness. We are racing against the slaughterhouse truck which will arrive early December if we do not get them out first."

Support for the charity has been flooding in with offers for around 5,000 of the hens.

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