TrendingAround Ireland

Undress me Father: Tedfest gets sexed up with lingerie orienteering

Around IrelandBy Geraldine Comiskey
LOVELY GIRL: Our Geraldine with John Bottrell
LOVELY GIRL: Our Geraldine with John Bottrell

Here’s what happens when cheeky clerics and naughty nuns get together for a wild weekend in the middle of Lent.

The annual Tedfest got off to a sinful start this weekend as the organisers decided to sex it up a bit – with some party games that would make Bishop Brennan blush!

Jack, Dougal and Ted took a break from penance to get in some practice for today’s wackiest event – “lingerie orienteering”.

Inspired by the episode where the priests get “lost” in “Ireland’s biggest lingerie dept”, they blagged some knickers and bras from Dunnes Stores in

Ennis – where the hilarious scenes were filmed – and scattered them around Craggy Island, otherwise known as The Aran Island of Inis Mor.

And the Sunday World joined in the madness. Having taken a vow of poverty, Sister Sin (aka yours truly) had the perfect excuse to forage for free undies. Father Jack lent a helping hand – with Roamin’ Catholic fingers! Jack, aka Australian John Bottrell, was on his third “pilgrimage” to the wacky festival. 

“I meet the same core people every year. Some of them come alone, like me,” he said.

“It’s a great way to lose your inhibitions – you put on the black suit, drink the Black Stuff, and the next thing you know you’re up on stage, making a jackass of yourself!”

Of course, Ted’s Got Talent would be nothing without clergy dressed as Elvis. ‘Sister’ Geraldine Hobbs, from Fermoy, Co. Cork, even brought an inflatable guitar to use as a weapon in yesterday’s Elvis Cage-Fighting Event.

Meanwhile, Dougal – aka Sean Downey (25), from South Armagh – was Tedly serious about religion. 

“I’ve never missed Mass since 2005 when I had a car accident. I nearly died, and I met God and Our Lady.  I thank God because I’m so lucky to be alive,” he said.

His mate Aidan Moore (35), from Dundalk, said: “This is our first time, but we’re coming every year from now on!”

With 500 people expected to turn up over the weekend, the owners of Ti Joe Watty’s pub, PJ and Grace Flaherty, had to perform the Miracle of The Loaves and Fishes – with battered cod.

“We’re run off our feet,” PJ said. “But we’re not complaining – this place would be dead in the winter without Tedfest. I’m going to dress up as Father Jack tonight and Grace will be Mrs Doyle.”

Elsewhere on the island, the “clergy” were ditching celibacy to sign up for matchmaking games. And there was a wide range of live acts, including Jivin’ Sister Fanny and The Hairy Babies.

Despite the hangovers, the Tedheads promised to be up early for the Mohammed Life Painting Class. The organisers were handing out postcards bearing the slogan “Je suis Dougal”.

While I was happy to poke fun at my own faith, I drew the line at slagging off others. As Fr Jack said: “That would be an ecumenical matter.”

* Tedfest ended last Sunday, but Tedheads won’t have to wait until next year for their next fix: Fr Ted Festival will take place in May (Fri 1 – Sun 3). The rival event will include tea and cakes with Mrs Doyle in the real Parochial House, family games by day and adult entertainment at night. For tickets see tedtours.com