Posted by: Laura | March 23, 2010

The Madness of TedFest

When I first arrived in Inis Mor the most common question people asked was how long I was going to stay. Once they realized I was going to be around for at least two weeks, they would respond by saying, “Oh! You’ll be here for TedFest!” Ok. Whatever that is. In retrospect, I’m not sure I would have been better off knowing. Since most of my readers aren’t from Ireland, I will give you a brief background on the hit Irish television show, Father Ted.

Beer drinking nuns!

It’s actually a blasphemous show by most peoples’ standards. And while it was only on the air for three years, it gained an enormous cult-like following. The plot revolved around Father Ted Crilly and two other priests, Father Dougal McGuire and Father Jack Hackett, all of whom are exiled to live on fictional Craggy Island. Each of the priests was sent to Craggy Island for different mistakes made in their past: Father Ted for gambling, Jack for being a womanizer and a drunk, and the only thing we know about Dougal is something to do with the “Blackrock Incident.” The three misfit priests lived with their housekeeper, Mrs. Doyle, and were anything but Godly. No one really knows the true location of Craggy Island expect that it is supposed to take place off the west coast of Ireland. The opening credits even feature a shot of the wrecked Plassey cargo ship that is still on the island of Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands. After Dermot Morgan, the actor who played in the role

of Father Ted, unexpectedly died, the show was not renewed for any additional episodes. Now, every year Inis Mor and Inis Oirr each hold an annual Father Ted Convention called TedFest.

Fallen priests.

I have been to many festivals in my life and I have to say this is one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen. Maybe because (before TedFest) I had never seen an episode – and until I arrived on the island just a few weeks prior to the festival, I’d actually never heard of the show. People started arriving by the boatload on Thursday’s evening ferry and most of them didn’t leave until the Monday evening ferry. There were many events scheduled throughout the four days – almost all of it consisting of drinking loads of alcohol. There were bands and numerous activities (based on the show) taking place in the town hall throughout the weekend. People all over the island were dressed as priests, nuns and other characters from the show – and as the days passed, their costumes became more complex. It was seriously the wildest thing I’ve ever seen…and I’ve seen some pretty crazy things over the years. There were die-hard fans running around with toy ponies and counting down from ten before singing Auld Lang Syne every time someone entered the room – or just when the mood struck. While I’m glad to have experienced TedFest first-hand, I definitely don’t want to clean the hostel after such a weekend. Ever again.



  1. it was definitely entertaining and fun…the first few nights! 🙂 gotta love how the irish party!!

  2. Oh man, that sounds so neat – and like it was a ridiculous mess for you to clean…yikes! What a riot though, only the Irish 🙂

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