Ballykissangel: A Drama Set in Ireland

Christina Knight | August 5, 2020

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Full of Irish charm, the delightful, award-winning series Ballykissangel has won millions of fans around the world with its quirky characters, strange shenanigans and tales of friendship, rivalry and love, especially the growing love between a publican (pub owner) and a Catholic priest.

Originally airing between 1996 and 2001 on BBC, the series stars Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks), Dervla Kirwan, Tony Doyle, Tina Kellegher, Niall Tobin and Peter Hanly. Ballykissangel was filmed in the village of Avoca in County Wicklow, Ireland.

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The Plot

Stephen Tompkinson as Father Clifford, Joe Savino as Liam; Frankie McCafferty as Donal.

When Father Peter Clifford (Stephen Tompkinson) arrives in the small rural village Ballykissangel, he knows he will face some opposition. What is a young, inexperienced English priest from Manchester doing in Ireland, of all places?

The local gossipmongers have their ideas – everyone knows everyone else’s business and a secret doesn’t stay secret for long. Unlike Father Mac (Niall Toibin), the parish priest who is not quite as holy as he appears to be, Peter believes in letting people make up their own minds and think for themselves – not quite what the local residents are used to.

The church flock here consists of a delightfully mischievous cast of characters, including Brian Quigley, the local wheeler-dealer entrepreneur, and his feisty daughter Niamh (who is engaged to the local policeman Ambrose), and Donal and Liam, Quigley’s dim but faithful sidekicks.

Assumpta Fitzgerald (Dervla Kirwan), the owner of the local bar, despises Englishmen and priests. She and Father Clifford clash like water and oil, and yet the two develop a tangible chemistry.

Stephen Tompkinson as Father Clifford and Dervla Kirwan as Assumpta in Ballykissangel.