Characters / Father Ted

Father Ted Crilly

Played by Dermot Morgan

  • Amusing Injuries: Suffers plenty of these. Of particular note is when he falls off the Crane Of Doom and winds up in several casts.
  • Berserk Button: We find out what it is in the Christmas episode:
    Mrs Doyle: Father, while you were out for your walk, we had a phone call. I think you were supposed to do a funeral today...
    Ted: The funeral! I completely forgot all about it!
    Mrs Doyle: It's alright! Father McGuire said he'd do it.
    Ted: That's ok so...[beat] DOUGAL'S DOING A FUNERAL?!! YOU LET DOUGAL DO A FUNERAL?!!!!
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: His large black eyebrows are a stark contrast to his grey hair.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: With Dougal, where he is the Tsukkomi.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a very good priest according to nuns and other priests. He even wins a Golden Cleric in the Christmas special. He just can't be trusted with money.
  • Butt Monkey: Things never go his way. Any time he makes any gains, karma ends up taking them away.
  • Celibate Hero: Well, he tries to be one. It's played with though, as he was tempted by a novelist who later decides to become a nun, makes comments about the bottoms of contestants in the Lovely Girls Competition and has dreams about Asumpta.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As the Only Sane Man in a parish full of Cloudcuckoolanders, he often makes quips about the situation he's in.
  • Does Not Like Spam: He hates egg sandwiches. Even the thought of them brings him out in a rash. Unfortunately for him, Mrs Doyle forgets this and gives him several large bags full of them before he goes on a picnic.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Father Fluffy Bottom.
  • The Gambling Addict: Hinted to be the reason behind "the Lourdes thing". He certainly seems very keen on going to Las Vegas for a Catholic priest and is often seem making comically small bets with Father Dick Byrne. He's nowhere near as bad as Father Billy "The Spinmaster" though.
  • Genre Savvy
  • Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: He doesn't seem to have much interest in being a priest, but he takes full advantage of the fact that it's an easy job by sleeping in, using the confessional for juicy gossip and obtaining discounts. He goes into full-on ego mode when he's awarded the Golden Cleric in the Christmas special.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Dougal, though more because there's really nobody else for him to talk to on Craggy Island and Dougal won't leave him alone.
  • Insistent Terminology: That money was only resting in his account.
    • Also, it wasn't hair on his buttocks. It was downy fluff.
  • Jerkass / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he's the most sympathetic character in some respects, in others, he's actually worse than Dougal and Jack, having stolen funds from "that Lourdes thing".
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: He's only smart in comparison to everyone else.
  • Locked Away in a Monastery / The Unfavourite: The reason he became a priest.
    Father Ted: That would be quite common you know. The favourite son would become a doctor and then the idiot brother would be sent off to the priesthood.
    Father Dougal: Your brother is a doctor, isn't he?
    Father Ted: Yes, he is.
  • Only Sane Man: Though he also manages to be thoroughly unpleasant on occasion.
  • Parental Substitute: More or less acts as Dougal's father, despite Dougal being a fully grown man.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He's rather fond of romance novels, especially Polly Clarke's work.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After misappropriating funding from a sick child who was supposed to go to Lourdes, he fecks off to Las Vegas. Bishop Brennan piles him off the Craggy Island with Dougal and Jack. Between the Christmas special and series 3, he manages to get sent to a decent parish in Dublin, but some discrepancies in his personal expense accounts get him sent right back.
  • Schemer: Constantly trying to con his way out of doing work or to get fame and fortune. It's what got him exiled in the first place.
  • Sinister Minister: A milder example. While Dougal and Jack are both simply crazy idiots, Ted is legitimately corrupt.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: It helps that Craggy Island is so isolated that it allows him to bolster his undeserved ego even more.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: He's the Only Sane Man on an entire island populated by Cloudcuckoolanders.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: His general attitude towards women is old fashioned. Laura Sweeney is implied to have beaten him up offscreen for suggesting that she's not a solicitor despite being the senior partner at her firm and he clashes with Niamh Connolly when she moves to Craggy Island over his attitude towards Mrs Doyle's duties in the parochial house and his treatment of the contestants in The Lovely Girls competition.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: His normal, sure, but that normalness actual makes him come off worse compared to the rest of the cast since he has no excuse for his actions.

Father Dougal Maguire

Played by Ardal O'Hanlon

  • Adult Child: Even though he's in his mid twenties, Mrs. Doyle bathes him and Ted treats him like an unruly preteen.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He seems to fall somewhere on the autism spectrum, along with being just plain dense.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: With Ted, where he is the boke.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: He's Ted's idiotic curate. Ted tries to keep him away from as much of the parish as possible with good reason.
  • Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: Has to keep a list of things that don't really exist and has a chart that shows real and not real.
  • Casual Sports Jersey: He wears an Ireland soccer jersey to bed. Dougal even provides the trope image.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Believes that the Loch Ness Monster, Magnum, P.I., Darth Vader and "Non-Catholic gods" are real people and has to have a chart to differentiate between dreams and reality. Curiously enough for a Catholic priest he doesn't believe in the bible.
  • The Ditz: He's not an intelligent man, to say the least. He also falls victim to Comically Missing the Point very frequently.
    • Genius Ditz: Sometimes, he actually comes up with a decent plan much to Ted's (and his own) amazement.
  • Dumb Is Good: He's not a schemer like Ted, and generally comes off as much nicer.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Ted, though primarily on his end.
  • Lethally Stupid: It's implied the Noodle Incident that got him sent to Craggy Island killed a lot of nuns. He's also responsible for a plane dumping its fuel by pressing a Big Red Button. His actions at a funeral resulted in a hearse inside a grave and on fire.
  • Made of Iron: Dougal was struck by lightning once. Apparently the only effect was balloons kept sticking to him.
  • Nice Guy: Especially when opposite Ted and Father Jack.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: His reason for being sent to Craggy Island is a bit of a Noodle Incident, but whatever happened supposedly irreparably damaged the lives of several nuns.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Due to his stupidity, he often mistakes Ted's snarkiness for genuine comments.
  • Sidekick: His primary function is to be Ted's.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Doesn't really do anything around the parish. Justified, though, since the one time he does a funeral, it ends up as a complete disaster.

Father Jack Hackett

Played by Frank Kelly

  • The Alcoholic: Only appears to be sober once every twelve years or so. Whenever he does run out of booze, he'll drink whatever else he can find, including Toilet Duck and floor polish.
  • Ambiguously Bi: A skirt-chasing horndog who in one episode climbs naked into bed with Bishop Brennan (albeit while sleepwalking), later wakes up, smiles at Brennan and then goes back to sleep still in the bed with him.
  • Badass Grandpa: Played for laughs. He's capable of punching Ted so hard that he's blown out a window.
  • Badass Preacher: A really really bad example of one sure, but Jack is still a priest. And he's certainly a tough man.
  • Berserk Button: Do not even try to take his precious drink away from him.
    Ted: Don't drink that, father! That's-
    Jack: [Spits it out] FECKING WATER!
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He is not a smart man in general, but he is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to alcohol. He can recognize brand and VINTAGE just by the sound of the clinking bottles.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Inverted. Do NOT disparage the French around Father Jack. Incidentally, Father Jack always stands for "La Marseillaise" and insists, in his usual way, that those around him do the same.
  • Child Hater /Friend to All Children: Has been said to be both of these depending on the episode.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Being both senile and perpetually drunk (and implied to be somewhat Ax-Crazy at the best of times) this is to be expected. "The Plague" gives us this gem while in "Hell" Jack gives us this.
  • Dirty Old Man: Has dreams about wet tshirt contests and teenage girls playing volleyball.
  • Does Not Like Spam: He absolutely hates tea, mostly because it's a non-alcoholic liquid.
    Mrs. Doyle: And what do you say to a cup?
    Father Jack: FECK OFF, CUP!
  • Einstein Hair: His hair is as wild as he is. Except when Ted cleans him up for some visiting bishops.
  • Ephebophile: If his dreams about taking the girls in the convent school for topless volleyball practice are any indication.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Will literally drink almost anything, including Toilet Duck and floor polish. The only liquids he won't drink are tea and water.
  • Evil Mentor: Its referenced in one episode that one of his former students, who claimed to be inspired entirely by him, grew up to cause a massacre of some sort.
  • Fighting Irish: The most violent member of the cast, generally getting him angry (or annoyed) results him in attacking everything in his path.
  • For the Evulz: As Ted put it, when ever he would hurt or assault anyone it wasn't out of anger (except on occasions it was) it was cause "he found it funny."
  • Friend to All Living Things: But only for a short period during leap years.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: "DON'T TELL ME I'M STILL ON THAT FECKIN' ISLAND!"
  • Gonk: His appearance gets more dishevelled and downright frightening as the series goes on. A group of people encounter him naked out in the woods and are genuinely freaked out by his appearance.
  • Grumpy Bear: Is almost never in a good mood, the closest you can get is when presenting him with unnatural quantities of alcohol.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Going within punching distance of him is ill advised.
  • Hidden Depths: After much coaching, Ted manages to get him to learn the phrase "That would be an ecumenical matter" to use in conversation.
  • Hulk Speak: Almost never speaks in sentences consisting of more than one word. Subverted in "Tentacles Of Doom" when Ted manages to teach him to say the phrase "That would be an ecumenical matter", albeit in his usual manner.
  • Jerkass: He won't be helpful at best and at worst, will physically attack people for slight infractions.
  • Large Ham: Even when he isn't fully shouting, he's bombastic.
  • No Indoor Voice: Comes with the fact that most of his dialogue is shouting single words.
  • Not Quite Dead: After drinking floor polish, he only appears to be dead temporarily.
  • The Pig Pen: Not only is his personal hygiene suspect, but it spreads to the chair he sits on and the wall behind him. In fact, he gets hairy hands because Dougal fails to disinfect his chair and he produces so much earwax that Ted and Dougal are able to make candles out of it.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Technically, it's semi retirement for him, but his boozing and skirt chasing is what gets him sent to Craggy Island to be kept out of the way.
  • Sadist Teacher: We see a couple of flashbacks to his younger years when he taught and he's seen beating a student with a hurley and setting a fire on a desk while telling a class of young primary school boys that "You'll burn for all eternity in hell!"
  • Secretly Wealthy: Turns out he has £500,000 in his bank account, which he leaves to Ted and Dougal in his will. Of course, given the fact that drinking floor polish only leaves him Not Quite Dead, it's unlikely that they'll ever see it.
  • Sinister Minister: As shown in flashbacks, even before his alcoholism he was pure fire and brimstone preacher who terrified his students with threats of damnation and personally dished out regular beatings. Played for Laughs obviously.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Given that about a quarter of his speech is the word "feck" and another quarter is "arse", this definitely applies.
  • Super Senses: Zig Zagged. Sometimes he's deaf, other times, he can identify alcohol by the sound of clinking bottles alone.
  • Super Window Jump: Tends to do this a lot. Gets lampshaded in the Christmas special, where Ted has had plexiglass installed to stop him doing this.

Mrs. Joan Doyle

Played by Pauline McLynn

  • All There in the Script: Her first name.
  • All Women Are Prudes: She's very critical of Polly's romantic novels.
  • Blind Without 'Em: "Tentacles Of Doom" reveals that she wears contact lenses, which were stolen by a dog. Her hilariously awful glasses are woefully inadequate substitutes, as she still can't see the three purple-clad bishops who are visiting the house.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Has an obsession with tea and housework to the point where she waits up all night with a cup of tea in case anybody wants one in the middle of the night. She even burns the furniture when Ted is going to leave for America.
  • No Name Given / Last Name Basis: Her first name is only revealed in the original scripts.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Has trouble understanding Father Jessop's sarcasm.
  • Spot of Tea: Absolutely obsessed with making tea (amongst other things). When being demonstrated a Tea Master, she is told that it takes the misery out of making tea. She states that maybe she likes the misery.

Bishop Len Brennan

Played by Jim Norton

  • Badass Cape: Not even Vader's cape can billow like Brennan's.
  • Badass Grandpa: Is easily able to rip doors off their hinges or shatter them with his bare hands, and is capable of kicking Ted 20 feet in the air. Jack can still kick his ass though.
  • Badass Preacher: A corrupt Bishop, but a Bishop never the less. Also don't get him angry.
  • Bad Boss: Doesn't exactly hold Ted, Dougal or Jack in high regard.
    Brennan: And Crilly? If you ever try to bullshit me like that again, I will rip off your arms.
    • Though on occasions when Ted seems to injure himself, he often shows sincere concern (unless its him whose hurting Ted).
  • The Dreaded: Especially against Ted (simply cause Ted is the only one smart enough to understand how intimidating he is). Ted even takes advantage of this, and is almost successful when he "kicks his arse", because he is supposedly too afraid of Brennan to actually do it, so the Bishop assumes that he can only have imagined it.
  • Dirty Old Bishop: Has a secret son in America and has been carrying on affairs in secret
  • Do Not Call Me "Len": "You will address me by my proper title, you little bollocks!"
  • Jerkass: He's thouroughly unpleasant. Even the Craggy Island cinema owner refers to him as "that gobshite".
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He doesn't hold the main characters to high standards, but he has legitimate reasons of disliking them with Ted stealing money from the church, Dougal being Lethally Stupid and Jack being a perpetual drunk and a skirt chaser.
  • Kavorka Man: Despite being an old bishop, he's seen sharing a bath with an attractive young woman and has a secret son in America.
  • Large Ham: Overpronounces the R in Rome amongst other things.
  • The Rival: Word of God says he's this to Jack, rising to the position of Bishop where Jack failed.
  • Sinister Minister: Greedy, lecherous, corrupt, violent and an aggressive. Basically he's a terrible Bishop.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He has a tremendous fear of rabbits, due to being somehow trapped in a lift with them at some point.

Father Dick Byrne

Played by Maurice O'Donoghue

  • Creepy Crossdresser: His act for the all priests lookalike competition is to dress up as Diana Ross.
  • A Dick in Name: Being an even more Jerkass version of Ted, Father Dick Byrne is an appropriately fitting name for him.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Ted.
  • Hidden Depths: His Song For Ireland entry is surprisingly good. So good, in fact, that it causes Ted to panic and go for a smoke.
  • Jerkass: He's even more of an asshole than Ted.
  • The Psycho Rangers: He even lives in an identical house to Ted.
  • The Rival: To Ted. Most of his appearances involve them being in direct competition in such things as an all priest lookalike competition, a Lenten sacrifice and coaching an over-75s football match. Each of these involves a bet of some form.
  • Similar Squad: Not only is he an evil version of Ted, his companions are exactly like Dougal and Jack as well.

Father Noel Furlong

Played by Graham Norton

  • Asexuality: According to Word of God.
  • Camp Gay / Camp Straight: Depending on how you can interpret a priest in such a context.
  • Genki Guy: His hilarious overenthusiasm for everything results in a ceilí inside a tiny caravan that results in it tipping over. By series 3, the youth group that follows him around clearly has enough of his demeanour with Tony finally snapping and shouting at him to shut up. When he's buried under a pile of rocks, they abandon him and flee to Paraguay.
  • Large Ham: He is very loud. So much so that he causes an avalanche inside the caves.
  • Motor Mouth: His manner of speech is ridiculously fast.
  • The Pollyanna: He's ridiculously positive, even when buried under a pile of rocks.

Father Larry Duff

Played by Tony Guilfoyle

  • Bald of Awesome
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Believes that his fantasy of owning rabbits was unrealistic, so he gets a pack of rottweilers instead.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Almost every time Ted phones him, he suffers some form of injury or misfortune. Yet he's still going by his next appearance.

Father Paul Stone

Played by Michael Redmond

  • The Bore: To a T. So badly, in fact, that it causes anyone in the general vicinity to lose the will to live.
  • The Dreaded: Just hearing his name causes Dougal to faint and Jack to Megaton Punch Ted out of the house.
  • Dull Surprise: Played for laughs. He's so dull, that it rubs off on everyone else.
  • Hero-Worshipper: To Ted. He literally counts down the days until he can return to Craggy Island and draws portraits of Ted.
  • The Stoic: Awakes from a coma after being struck by lightning and simply says that he's fine.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: He used to hang out with another priest who dumped him on Ted.
  • When He Smiles

Father Fintan Stack

Played by Brendan Grace

  • Beard of Evil: Brendan Grace provides a huge beard for the role.
  • It Amused Me: Pretty much the reason he does anything, like drill holes in the wall or get Dougal drunk. He notes "I've had my fun and that's all that matters."
  • Jerkass: Ted reckons he's worse than Adolf Hitler. You wouldn't catch Hitler playing jungle music at three o'clock in the morning.

Father Todd Unctious

Played by Gerard Mc Sorley

  • Bald of Evil: He's the villain of the Christmas special with a shiny bald head.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Parodied. He actually is a priest, but steals another priest's clothing for no real reason.
    Father Todd Unctious: It just seemed to be the way things were going.
  • Sinister Minister: Is a thoroughly greedy and corrupt thief, but he is still also a priest.


Played by Pat Shortt

  • Affably Evil: He's very friendly for a violent loon and is willing to help Ted here and there. Just don't get in his way when he goes nuts.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's totally nuts and obsessed with killing. His Establishing Character Moment has him randomly blast a crow with a shotgun.
  • Ballistic Discount: Robs a post office at one point and claims that it was his own money and he couldn't be bothered to fill out the forms. Ted implies that it's not the first time this has happened.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: He has big, bushy eyebrows.
  • Blood Knight: He's obsessed with killing. When he realises that Ted doesn't intend for him to kill the rabbits that have invaded the parochial house, he gets quite upset.
  • Fighting Irish: Is the second most violent character in the series (after Father Jack).
  • Fun T-Shirt: He's never seen without his "I Shot JR" tshirt.
  • Gun Nut: He's rarely seen without his shotgun.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Wants to use one to kill rabbits.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: His Weapon of Choice, which he never leaves the house without.
  • Shout-Out: Wears an I Shot JR shirt and has Redrum painted in red on his walls.

Pat Mustard

Played by Pat Laffan

Henry Sellers

Played by Niall Buggy

  • The Alcoholic: Though at the start of the episode he appears in, he's been sober for a year, one sip of sherry and he's Off the Wagon. His alcoholism is why the BBC sacked him.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: A single sip of alcohol has him ranting, destroying furniture and jumping out of windows to roam in the wild like a feral beast.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Jack Daniels: He's a friendly TV show host when sober. The moment alcohol even touches his lips, he turns into a raving lunatic.
  • Dodgy Toupee: His hairpiece is so unconvincing that Dougal can't stop staring at it. When he gets drunk, it's tipped to the side like a loose hat.
  • Large Ham: Though only when drunk. He rants "Sack me? SACK ME?! I MADE THE BBC!" in as bombastic a manner as possible.
  • Off the Wagon: One sip of sherry and he's in full on raving drunk mode.
  • Super Window Jump: On two occasions, he leaps straight out through the parochial house's front window.

Niamh Connolly

Played by Claire Grogan

John And Mary O'Leary

Played by Patrick Drury and Rynagh O'Grady

  • Awful Wedded Life: Their marriage is so bad that they spend most of the series inflicting violent acts upon each other.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: They act like a loving couple when Ted and Dougal talk to them. In private, they're violent and abusive towards each other.
  • Domestic Abuser: The pair of them. Every time we see them, they're either belittling each other or perform acts of violence upon each other.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: We hear a gunshot offscreen when Mary tries to wrestle a shotgun from John's grasp.
  • The Masochism Tango: They are always having a screaming row or in the process of attempting to kill each other until the moment the priest walks in, at which point they immediately become a pair of outwardly-cheerful Stepford Smilers. There's an element of real-world social commentary under the humour; at the time Father Ted started airing (1995), divorce was still illegal in Ireland.
  • Only Shop in Town: The O'Learys own the newsagent's on Craggy Island and sell everything from cigarettes to handcuffs.
  • Stepford Smiler: Nice as pie to each other when the priests arrive, then violent and abusive towards each other in private.