ENNIS’ connection to the hit television show Fr Ted could soon be immortalised, with calls being made for a sign to be erected in the town declaring that the county capital is the home of ‘Ireland’s Largest Lingerie Section’.
Scenes for the Christmas special of the show in which Fr Ted and other priests are trapped in the department store were filmed in Dunnes Stores in Ennis. According to Councillor Brian Meaney, Ennis should capitalise on its relationship with the show by putting up a sign on Friars Walk.
Speaking at a meeting of Ennis Town Council this week, Councillor Meaney commented, “Fr Ted now has cult status. There is significant interest in events like Ted Fest and there are a number of groups involved in a Ted Trail, organising visits to places associated with the show. We’re not inventing anything here; this is a point of interest.”
Councillor Peter Considine questioned the validity of the claim that the store housed Ireland’s largest lingerie section. Councillor Meaney responded that while it is not factually correct that the store has the largest lingerie section, the sign would be a reference point for fans of the show.
Councillor Mary Howard stated that the Aran Islands benefited from its association with the show, even though very little was filmed there. “I think it’s a great idea,” she said.
Councillor Mary Coote Ryan stated that Dunnes Stores would have to be consulted about the idea, while Councillor Michael Guilfoyle stated he had “no interest” in the proposal.
Councillor Meaney, in his submission, also urged that the council provide signage on the Mill Road to the ‘Stone Outside Dan Murphy’s Door’ and that Google Maps be requested to list both locations on their map of Ennis.
He told the meeting that his late father often sang the Johnny Paterson song and it wasn’t until years later that he realised it referred to a place in Ennis.
“We need to play to our benefits and anything we can do that will identify us and make us stand out should be done. I believe that sign posts would give prominence to what is a well referenced song.”
Responding to the motion, town clerk Leonard Cleary stated, “Ennis Town Council will assess the signing needs in relation to both sites of visitor interest. The tourist and visitor recognition factor of the Stone Outside Dan Murphy’s Door is well established.”
He went on, “Having regard to Ireland’s Largest Lingerie Section, the council is unsure as to whether this relates to a scene from a TV comedy more than a decade ago. Perhaps the councillor would undertake further on-site research.”