Father Ted meets Monty Python as Brother Dougal hits Limerick in the fight against the evil gays

The anti-gay comes to Limerick

Normally when I wake up in the morning, it isn’t entirely an episode of Father Ted and it might not even be completely Monty Python, though at the moment there’s a strong feeling that it might be mostly Game of Thrones.

A man meets a man’s beloved daughter in the market for an early curry.

A man’s daughter goes for intensive hair treatment.

Meanwhile, a man wanders around town, trying not to wear too many faces until a man stumbles across a bunch of lunatics and a man’s mask slips.

irish society for christian civilisation rory o'hanlon father ted

Seven magnificent men, or perhaps a man detects six men and a boy, reciting prayers to the old gods and the new before setting out on a dangerous mission. A man salutes them and then a man goes for a coffee, with cream because after all it is a Saturday.

That’s where Game of Thrones evaporates and our Saturday morning becomes very real, as long as you consider utterly bizarre a form of reality.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, here come a bunch of men in cheap business suits wearing sashes made from recycled Munster flags.

Men are wearing red capes across their suits for no clear reason. Six men and a boy are wearing capes. Six cape-wearing men and a boy in a cape are handing out pamphlets against homosexual marriage.


Irish Society for Christian Civilisation



Irish Society for Christian Civilisation


Ah! Now I have you. Marriage should be between a man and a woman from the eighteenth century. That makes perfect sense.


Irish Society for Christian Civilisation Rory O'Hanlon

What is this? everyone wonders.

Is this a promotion for today’s clash between Munster and Ulster? Is this a  gesture from Munster in favour of gay rights?  After all, Munster Rugby facilitated a massive table quiz in support of equality only two days ago.

But then it dawns on us. No self-respecting gay man would wear anything as tacky as these people are wearing, even in support of a cause. I wouldn’t wear it myself, for that matter, and I have the dress sense of a Jack Russell. They must be bigots. The B-word. The word that the homophobic fake institutes would try to prevent everyone from using.

Our hackles rise, perhaps unreasonably until we get talking to them and we discover that yes, they really do hate their fellow man and woman.  They really do detest people who don’t fit their template of what constitutes god-given sexuality.

I find myself talking to one of them, who tries to explain that it’s all about the children.

Let’s call him Rory.

I tell Rory it’s not. I tell Rory the referendum is about two people getting married.

Rory tells me marriage is about having children.

I tell him it’s not. I tell him people who can’t have children also get married. Post-menopausal women. Men who have had a vasectomy. People who don’t wish to procreate. I ask him if these marriages are invalid in his eyes.

Rory doesn’t want to know.

I tell him the supreme court has decided a married couple are a family.

He still doesn’t want to to know because this man, as it’s becoming clear, is not interested in facts when he can have his own private fantasy instead.

I ask Rory about the interesting robe he’s wearing and the elaborate clasp he uses to hold it together.


Is that the emblem of an ancient equestrian order? I ask him.

No, he says.

Are you a front for Opus Dei?


Are you the Order of the Holy Sepulchre?

No, he replies.

Then who exactly are you?

That’s when Rory goes off message and tells me something he shouldn’t.

We’re the Irish Society for Tradition, Family and Property.

Are you? I ask. And how long have you existed?

About fifty years, he replies.

Really? Fifty years?


Are you a private company?




Fair enough.

Sharon appears, not by magic but by coincidence since this is Limerick, this is the Market and this is how things happen when lunatic fringe groups try to overwhelm the common decency of Limerick people.  Sharon has her son Pete with her, raised by two mothers and not obviously suffering from having three horns on his head.

Irish Society for Christian Civilisation

This is my son, Sharon tells Rory. He was raised by two women.

Rory recoils.

Look at him, Sharon says.

Rory looks at me.

Look at him, I say.

Rory looks at Sharon.

Look at him, says Sharon.

Rory looks at me.

Look at him, I say.

Eventually, Rory looks at Pete. It’s clear that he has never imagined a real, genuine human being raised by a same-sex couple. Rory seems perturbed.

Rory O Hanlon lectures mother and son

Shake his hand, says Sharon.

Pete appears a little disgusted but he extends his hand and Rory reaches out. This territory seems new to Rory.

Ask him how he is, Sharon says.

Rory says nothing, so Pete explains that he’s just fine, that the two women who raised him did a great job and that he doesn’t understand why Rory is trying to stop his mother being married.

Rory, we all agree later, is the least effective campaigner we ever met. We all agree that Rory is utterly without facts, arguments or even a firm conviction. Everyone is baffled. Why did a man without facts go on a mission to Limerick? Why did he voluntarily get himself eaten alive?

It gets worse for Rory, unfortunately when he engages in an argument over the religious anti-gay pamphlet he and his caped crusaders have been handing out.

Let’s have a look at your ten reasons why gay people shouldn’t get married, Rory is told, by an angry passer-by.

Point 1. It isn’t marriage.  

That’s right. It isn’t marriage. We’re voting to make  it marriage. Bullshit!

Point 2. It violates natural law. 

We have only one law in this republic and it it isn’t your law. Bullshit!

A crowd begins to gather. Rory smiles manfully.

Point 3. It denies a child a mother or a father.

Divorce and separation do that.  Not gays. Bullshit.

Irish Society for Christian Civilisation Rory O'Hanlon

Point 4. It validates the homosexual lifestyle. 

In other words, you hate gays. Bullshit.

Point 5. It turns a moral wrong into a civil right.  

Don’t lecture me about morals.  Bullshit.

Point 6. It does not create a family but a naturally sterile union.  

Are you telling post-menopausal women they can’t get married? Bullshit.

The crowd begins to murmur support.

Point 7. It defeats the State’s purpose of benefitting marriage.  

Don’t tell me the State’s purpose. Bullshit.

Point 8. It imposes its acceptance on all society.

You don’t get to veto other people’s lives. Bullshit.

Point 9. It is the cutting edge of the sexual revolution.

Sorry kid. You’ve missed that by about fifty years. Bullshit.

Point 10. It offends God. 

I don’t believe in your god so don’t give me this bullshit.

Rory looks at his feet as light applause breaks out. His golden clasp glistens in the weak sun, a lion rampant with papal cross. He declines to explain where the image came from.

Is that the insignia from some equestrian order? I ask.


Are you Opus Dei?


Are you the Knights of the Order of the Sepulchre?


The Knights Who Say Ni?


Never mind. Are you Knights?


Then why are you wearing that ridiculous robe? Don’t you think it’s a bit gay?

Rory doesn’t answer so I challenge him.

Don’t you think gays deserve to suffer like everyone else?

What? he says.

Let them get married, I tell him.

Later I discover that Rory has not been entirely honest with me. The Irish Society for Christian Civilisation, named on the pamphlets he’s handing out, is indeed a limited company registered in Ireland, and the same Rory O’Hanlon is a company director. If, as he claimed, it was over fifty years old, he must have founded it when he was a babe in arms, but actually, the truth is more prosaic.  According to company records, it was set up in 2004, and that, to the best of my knowledge, is not fifty years ago. It seems Rory’s Christian beliefs allow him to tell direct barefaced lies.

Oddly, when asked the title of his group, Rory seemed to slip. Instead of calling it the Irish Society for Christian Civilisation, he called it the Irish Society for Defence of Tradition, Family and Property, perhaps unconsciously echoing the title of its parent organisation, the American Society for Defence of Tradition, Family and Property.


Rory, by the way, is a brother of Ardal O’Hanlon, otherwise known as Father Dougal and not a man remotely associated with such strange ideas.

Father Ted comes to Limerick, however vicariously.

As we leave, I tell Rory that I hope this has helped him to re-evaluate his own prejudices, though I don’t have high hopes.


More about Rory
















47 thoughts on “Father Ted meets Monty Python as Brother Dougal hits Limerick in the fight against the evil gays

  1. I’ve met that crowd before and had words with them, but they were just doing regular holier than thou stuff at the time.
    Fair play to you and Sharon and Pete for sticking it to them.

  2. You can tell by the colours and logo this guy is clearly a front for….. The Lannisters

  3. In all fairness he was defending Traditional Marriage.You clearly haven’t a clue what his viewpoint was as you never gave them a chance.Equally he has not listened to your side as he failed to see the humanity of a homosexual person.Both of you need lessons in people skills…Also don’t understand was his brother has to do with this? That was unfair and unjust,.

  4. Tim — they had to be challenged.

    Conor — I’m guessing he might be a Tyrell

    M — You weren’t there. Don’t tell me what he was defending.

  5. Well done to you Sir Bock….
    You put it up to those Knights of Duh…..
    Those assholes in their capes….
    Did they think they were super heroes… assholes should have put their underwear on their heads…
    with the shit stains on the in side…

    Why hasn’t the council step-in with their by-laws in issuing those flyers, most people with fuck them on the street…
    Because flyer distribution is even banned out side Thomond Park…
    So the same should be for those capped fools in the city centre…
    He looks like Homer Simpson dressed as Pie-Man

  6. They’ve done more than a good job with Pete, I can tell you. One of the finest young men in Limerick. A credit to his mums and his whole family. He’s smart, honest, funny, and never afraid to stand up for his friends.

    These nutjobs just can’t cope with any kind of difference, or any kind of logic, it would seem. Maybe he is interested in preserving traditional marriage. Why should the rest of us be subjected to one man’s interpretation of tradition? And what’s wrong with forging new traditions?

    #voteyes #equality

  7. Their idea of traditional marriage would be interesting.

    Is that the traditional marriage we used to have where rape didn’t exist? Is it the traditional marriage where a woman wasn’t entitled to an equal share in the family home?

  8. “Don’t you think gays deserve to suffer like everyone else?”

    I think marriage is a pile of poo meself, but same sex couples should have the right to chose that pile of poo if they want.

    Another thing I find slightly condescending is the notion that marriage is all about babies. Eh, what if you don’t want them?
    I’ve had shitheads trying to tell me, I’ll never have what other people have.. a nice little family, trying to dictate to me what normal is. Who’s gonna look after ya when you’re old, .the mother has said. The first whiff of piss off her and it’s bye bye to a nursing home anyway.
    But it is slightly annoying, people going on about da childreeeeen.

  9. Well done Bock–of course they should be challenged–I’m a little uncomfortable with your “Suddenly, out of nowhere, here come a bunch of men in cheap business suits wearing sashes made from recycled Munster flags”–The cost or inelegance of someone’s clothing is irrelevant. Cheap clothes don’t invalidate their opinion. You don’t need to mock that aspect of their presentation. You are better than that.

  10. Why don’t you let me write shit the way I write shit, and you write shit the way you write shit?


  11. Deal. I had forgotten your promise “now 20% more offensive”. A man of his word.

  12. Wonder what they’ll do with themselves if/when a ‘yes’ is returned? Creepy lot.

  13. I imagine they’ll continue being celibate religious hermits obsessed with other people’s sexuality.

  14. [Mod Edit: Comment withheld. Homophobic material will not be tolerated on this site.]

  15. The Yes campaign constantly claims that this referendum has nothing to do with children. This is simply not true. You are being asked to change the section of the Constitution that deals with “The Family”. To suggest that the family has nothing to do with children is ludicrous. Redefining marriage would have a huge effect on the family.

    Redefining marriage would deliberately rob children of their right to have a mother and a father. We all know single parents who work heroically to provide their children with happy, loving homes, but almost no-one sets out deliberately to become a lone parent or to deprive a child of a mother or father.

    Vote NO if you believe that the law should recognise that every child deserves a mother and a father.

  16. Is it not a fact that children are now, and will continue to be, raised by same-sex couples?

    Describe in detail the mechanism by which children will be robbed of a parent.

    Explain how voting No will prevent same-sex couples from rearing children.

    These are the only two things you will reply to. When you have dealt with them, you can introduce more red herrings to be debunked but for now, you will deal with these two points only.

  17. What, the caped crusaders in Limerick.You couldn’t make it up.I want to go there.
    By the way well said Bock.

  18. ‘These are the only two things you will reply to’. Why am I only limited to two? Why not three or four. Can I not ask you about your rainbow herring comment?

  19. At “Williamso”…

    One question for you..
    Will you lose a night sleep… in thinking of the children without a real mother and father ??????

    The hard nose Catholics of this state, they deem to forget about the Catholics that had the reins of the country for a long time…
    It was them that deprived a child of a mother and father for years, when young children were taken from their parent/parents for what ever matter and fucked into industrial schools etc…
    They were removed from them by the State Catholic Taliban.
    Where were you then….!!!!

    So by your comment..
    “Vote NO if you believe that the law should recognise that every child deserves a mother and a father”

    [Mod edit. Abusive remark deleted.]

  20. Williamson, we’ll deal with your points as you make them. Now answer what was put to you please.

  21. I have lost allot of Sleep over the upcoming referendum. I was not born then and don’t agree with your summary of the Catholic faith. But we are talking about the referendum.

    Every child has an equal right to be brought into the world, raised and loved, by his or her own mother and father. The circumstances of life mean it doesn’t always happen. But never before has the State taken away that right. That’s what a ‘Yes’ vote would mean. In the Constitution, the State pledges to “guard with special care the institution of marriage on which the family is founded”.

    If marriage is redefined on May 22, so also is family. Same-sex couples will have the rights that go with marriage – including the right to start a family. How can a same-sex couple start a family? For a female couple, it would mean using sperm donated by some young man in Ireland or abroad. A same-sex male couple will use the egg of some female student or some poor woman abroad. A surrogate mother must carry the child for them. And that’s the last bit of mothering that child will ever have. What all these situations involve is the child’s loss of relationship with one or other genetic parent. That is unjust.

  22. Marriage does not confer the right to start a family. That’s utter nonsense.

    Everyone, married or not, gay or straight, already has the right to start a family.

    You must think we’re still living in the Victorian age when priests ruled the country.

    And what’s more, same-sex couples already raise children and will continue to do so. Your concern doesn’t extend to those children. A No vote will deny them constitutional protection.

    Every child clearly does not have the right to be raised by his biological mother and father, since so many of them are not raised by their biological parents. Relationship breakdown is the reason why that doesn’t happen, and the majority of new relationships are heterosexual so don’t blame the gays.

    The constitution recognises a married couple as a family, with or without children, and if you have difficulty with that, take it up with the Supreme Court which made that judgement.

    Are you trying to suggest that childless heterosexual couples are not families? Are you trying to suggest that post-menopausal women can’t get married?

    Here you go with the red herrings. Surrogacy has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. It is an issue that remains undecided for all couples.
    Now go back and answer the two points I put to you. Let me repeat them.

    1. Describe in detail the mechanism by which children will be robbed of a parent if same-sex couples are allowed to marry.

    2. Explain how voting No will prevent same-sex couples from rearing children.

  23. If anyone is interested –
    From Lawyers4yes

    Insofar as opponents of the Marriage Equality Amendment have sought to suggest that a ‘no’ vote is in the interests of children, there is no legal (or, for that matter, scientific) basis for this. The opposite is the case. It appears, rather, that this position is based on religious views as to the ‘ideal’ family or adherence to traditional gender roles. This is particularly evident around discussion of adoption and surrogacy.
    The changing views of Irish society about gender roles in bringing up children, and advances made in areas such as psychology and psychiatry in understanding the developmental needs and requirements of children, have long been reflected in the decisions of the Irish courts. For example, in 1984, Mc Mahon J. commented on how the distinct roles which our society assigned to fathers and mothers was changing, as “the younger generation of married people tend to exchange roles freely.” 20 He struck down as unconstitutional a provision of the adoption legislation that prohibited a widower from adopting a child. The psychiatric evidence was that a strong bond had developed between the widower and the child, and that “a man was just as capable as a woman of the most important function of parenthood”, which was described as being “to provide the child with a person with whom the child can form an emotional relationship”. The evidence was that this bonding process gives the child a sense of security and of being loved. The Judge held that no evidence had been adduced to establish that the roles of mothers and fathers were “mutually exclusive or that both are essential for the proper upbringing of children or to establish that there is any difference in capacity for parenthood between a widow and a widower.”

    And –

  24. Do we need to get Pete out again so Williamson can avoid his eye contact too?

  25. Williamson ( comment 17) is fair, balanced and correct.I find the Yes responses peculiar though-Point 1.Williamson does not bring up Catholic but the Yes supporters voters do? Point 2. Someone comment was deleted (homophobic) But abusive language was permitted by Yes side?
    Anyone can clearly see this debate and confrontation in limerick was done and set up to put the No supporters in a bad light. I will definitely be voting No now.

    P.S/ I do not believe for one moment the mother and son “just happen to be walking by” They knew the group would be there and were set up (or set upon rather).The questions from the Yes side were all ready.Just like the No posters been reportedly torn down,unfair and undemocratic from Yes side once again.The Yes supporters are far too aggressive and behave like Nazis.And by the way,why the black shades?A bit odd.

  26. @ M
    The ‘No’ supporters put themselves in a bad light by the shyyyte coming out of their mouths.
    Of course Sharon and her son were ‘just walking by’ – It’s Limerick,, it’s Market Day,, lots of mother’s and their sons were there,,, and twas sunny,,, lots of people wore shades,, not just yes voters!!!

  27. I was there. With my son. I’m voting yes. And I’m not even gay! (Oh and I had my sunnies on too)… Coincidence????

  28. It was the market on a Saturday morning, where else would a Limerick person be?
    Myself and my son had just left a friend of my sons and were minding our own business walking from the market to Cruise’s Street, as we do pretty much every Saturday morning, after going for a coffee, while we wait for his brother to finish his Saturday morning classes, before Pete puts his head down for the afternoon studying for his exams. You can almost get the film from every Saturday and you will see us taking the same route, this Saturday we will probably do the same thing.

    We don’t have the time or inclination to follow men around plotting their downfall, it is an exam year!. We stopped to listen as the man in the cape was talking to someone else, we listened for a moment until I heard the “red herring” of children being brought into it and thought it the opportune time to introduce a No campaigner to an actual physical person that they were saying would be harmed by equal marriage.

    We gave him time to explain his stance, but apart from one fleeting glance he would not give Pete the decency of looking him in the eyes or even speaking to him directly.
    It was one of the most peculiar conversations we have ever had.

    Michael Noonan, Jan O’Sullivan, Simon Covney were all in the market that morning too. I’m sure they could have made a far better political statement than myself and my 15 year old, who were minding our own business until a stranger said that our family was somehow less than his own and should not be allowed to become equal.

    As for the sun glasses, it was sunny!

  29. There is an elderly gentleman in the back of one of the pictures in sunglasses, he must be in on it too!

  30. I just read a comment that says my mother and I are “like Nazis”. To the person who wrote that, you clearly don’t understand what side is what in this referendum, so let me explain it to you.

    On one side we have the yes voters who want one simple thing, equal marriage. They don’t want to break up your marriage, they don’t want to steal your babies, and they will not turn you gay. Thats right, all they want is to be happy. How crazy and outlandish is that?

    Now for the opposing side, the no campaigners. The no campaigners think that they should be the only ones to be happy. They are so selfish, they would deny loads of couples the one thing they are asking for. However they don’t know how to steal their happiness, so they blurt out random nonsense “Babies! Surrogacy Nazi!”

    So before you reply with some strong-worded message, I want you to sit and think about this.

    “Why should I try to deprive these people, why do I want to? Is the one thing I want to do this year making people upset? If I meet these people, could I really look them in the eye, and tell them I want to be happy, but they can’t be. Or. Will I do the right thing, the kind thing, and vote yes, and actually make a difference to the lives of others?”

    Now I want you to say all that out loud, and if you can’t do that, then you have made up your mind, and there is nothing I can do to help you.

    This is all coming from me, and me alone, nobody influencing my opinion. Think very hard about what you’re going to do. Will you be a nice person, or a selfish person?

    Your choice

  31. You have put your feelings so eloquent Peter. It is a credit to you and your two mams. I hope this will be the very last time you are subjected to ignorance in your life.
    Much respect !

  32. In an immature way I would like to say that Peter’s very mature comment for a 15-year-old is a credit for raising a child by two women. They seem to be better role models than a so-called traditional couple, that is with a male dad involved who probably grunts in front of the tv with a can in his hand and tells his son to toughen up (a cliché to get my point across)

    But I’m a bit more mature than this. Yes, I am! Really! And I do like men! Mostly. I was a daddy’s girl after all, before anyone comes up with the popular “feminazi”-thingy.
    My dad (back in Germany) was a social worker by the way, and an advocate for leaving children in a loving environment which way ever instead of putting them into care (“care” – what an abused concept).

    Good children come from good families, that is from parents who love and support them and try to teach them to think for themselves and broaden their horizons. Nothing to do with gender. Or only a little bit: In my experience same-sex couples are more open-minded and aware of injustices than so-called traditional couples:They know what they are talking about.

    But the referendum is not really about children, isn’t it? It’s about the Fear that lurks inside every person afraid of love, intimacy and sex.

    For all those potential “No”-voters concerned about sex:
    How is your sex-life? Your preferences?
    Anal is very popular among hetero-males. I know. I really do – as a hetero woman. Do you dream of it? Does your churchly married wife accept it? Wouldn’t it be great if you had a penis-centred partner who would fulfill all your penis-“dirty” dreams? How about “Fifty shades of Grey”? Or is it “Two shades of (bishoply) Green”?

    And my dear wannabe-catholic girls, who swoon about the local priest, because the husband is such a disappointment (TV, can, sofa, 2 minutes in the sheets or a black eye), wouldn’t it be lovely to make love in an intimate way with someone who actually knows what turns you on? Who gives you a cuddle when you need it and not a comment about your weight or outfit? Someone you can actually trust?

    I really would like to know about the sexlife and the parental skills of the angrily fluttering No-voters.


    I know, full of clichés, my comment. But hey, beat them with their own nonsense!

    I would vote Yes, of course. But as a foreigner I’m not allowed to vote in a referendum and the general election.
    At least I try my voice heard on Bock’s blog.

  33. “I really would like to know about the sexlife and the parental skills of the angrily fluttering No-voters.” – I think that your comment was probably somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I have to ask – what the hell difference does it make what anyone’s sexual habits or indeed parenting skills (or lack thereof) have to do with anything about one’s decision on this referendum?

    Some people are bad parents, some people are great parents, some people suck at sex and some are great at it. Some people are heterosexual, some people are homosexual, some are asexual. No combination of these traits are mutually exclusive and I think it’s terribly counter-productive in general to relegate this important debate to a simple point-scoring tit for tat spectacle…

    Bock has argued in a previous post that this referendum is really about a small minority group who see themselves as masters of a majority and who will fight tooth and nail to stop any change to the perceived status quo in order to remain in their current position of power.

    In that respect I believe it’s even more than that – I see this is yet another front in the battle between good and evil – in this case I personally believe (without reference to any particular moral or religious code or definition thereof) that the No side represent evil as they have consistently shown that they will happily put the good of the few before the good of the many just so that they can continue to enjoy some kind of elevated privilege (real or perceived, it’s irrelevant)

    Also, to Peter I would say this : what a wonderfully cogent argument, if only we had more people with your attitude! It gives me great hope for the future to know there are young’uns like yourself about the place :)

  34. “Penis centred partner”… “another front in the battle between good and evil”
    Are ye all smoking the gange tonight or something?

  35. Steve:
    My comment was only half-arsed tongue-in-cheek, more angrily sarcastic. People who make such a fuss – politically and religiously – about other people’s sex-life should be asked about their’s. Hypocrytes all of them. The mouthiests No-voters are usually those who have secret desires they are scared of …

    Naw, English isn’t my first language, hence the sometimes strange phrasing. But don’t you think that “penis centred partner” is quite inventive? I was fairly proud of it. Next time I’ll fail better.
    And no, it wasn’t ganga, it was a dry white from Pays d’Oc.

  36. @Carry – yes I figured as much, was just using your point as a springboard for my own, hope you don’t mind!

    @Artemis – never touch the stuff ;)

  37. Ah!
    So you did meet ’em.
    Just the lads to get us all back in our boxes.

  38. What do they think of a surrogate mother and a non biological father rearing a son?

  39. Not only that, but there’s a fella there in the first pic, upstage left, who looks terribly like Putin, is there no depths he’ll decend

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