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I wanted to be a Christian Brother, admits comedian Tim McGarry  

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Podcast: Tim McGarry shared his views on religion, the Troubles and comedy

Podcast: Tim McGarry shared his views on religion, the Troubles and comedy

Podcast: Tim McGarry shared his views on religion, the Troubles and comedy

Belfast   comedian Tim McGarry has told how he once thought about becoming a Christian Brother.

The star of the Blame Game who is known also for playing Da in Give My Head Peace was speaking to former Adoration Sisters turned pilgrim guides Martina Purdy and Elaine Kelly on the St Patrick’s Podcast.

Ms Purdy asked him about his faith and how it was that he ended up being an atheist, and patron of NI Humanists, having been raised a Catholic.

“I became an atheist when I was about 14, just around the time of confirmation,” he said. “I am a natural sceptic…I think the chances of there being a God are virtually zero…I just don’t buy it. I’m sorry. I don’t buy any religion.”

He did however admit that as a young person he was once “quite devout.”

“You know at one stage I was going to become a Christian Brother because I was taught by the Christian brothers, Park Lodge. And there was a Christian brother, Brother Holian, who was a lovely, lovely man and my mother was very religious and I genuinely thought about becoming a Christian brother at a very early stage.”

During the podcast, Mr McGarry challenged Ms Purdy to prove that God existed and she told him jokingly: “Open your eyes to beauty.”

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Ms Purdy said she was too tired for a debate on causality but would ask him just one question on the subject: “Do you believe in love?”

And when he replied, ”Yes,” she answered, “Well, God is love! So thank you very much Tim, we have to move on!”

Ms Kelly said she found McGarry to be so kind and decent, he was one of the best non-practising Catholics she had ever met. McGarry did share that his mother Betty had great faith and when asked in her old age how she felt about death, she replied: “I can’t wait!”

During the podcast McGarry shared his own experience of the Troubles, his life as a comedian and the benefits of laughter. He has made a career out of poking fun at politicians and paramilitaries and this year celebrated 25 years as a comedian, having spent eight years as a solicitor.

McGarry spoke about launching St Patrick’s Way by the Coast, a six-mile ancient pilgrimage route from Ballyhornan to Ardglass that takes in St Patrick’s Well, Sheepland.

He said he didn’t know what to expect from the walk and “had an absolute ball”. “You know I like a wee dander now and again. But the weather was superb the company was great. There was about a dozen of us on it, a very gentle walk with a break in the middle.”

The podcast is available on www.saintpatrickcentre.com


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