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STAY OUT OF MY CHURCH; Priest bans Love Is The Drug actors after RTE 'disgrace'.

Byline: PAT FLANAGAN

A PRIEST has banned the cast of a hit RTE show from his church unless they first go to confession after their appearance in the controversial drama.

Monsignor Francis Donnelly branded the cast of Love Is The Drug a "disgrace" because of the sex scenes in the hit series.

He has warned the cast not to come near St Peter's Church in Drogheda, Co Louth, where he is the parish priest.

Msgr Donnelly said if the church is to feature in future episodes of the acclaimed show, the actors will first have to go to mass and then confess their sins.

He added: "I wouldn't let them near St Peter's.

"The show was a disgrace to Drogheda and drama. The actors were a disgrace to the profession."

The entire series was filmed in the town and used many local actors, but Msgr Donnelly said the show put the town and his church on the map for all the wrong reasons.

St Peter's, which is on Drogheda's main thoroughfare, West Street, featured in many episodes - one which contained a three-in-a-bed sex scene.

But the priest is angry that such scenes were shown alongside shots of the church which contains the head of St Oliver Plunket.

Msgr Donnelly said he received letters from parishioners complaining about the drama even though the local council honoured the actors last week.

He added: "The show itself was terribly boring, vulgar and poor drama."

However, the man behind the series, Darren Thornton, maintained the drama portrayed the Church as being open and liberal.

He said Msgr Donnelly's comments were "unfortunate", adding: "Irish people get unnecessarily embarrassed about watching Irish people having sex."

The RTE production was one of the most successful dramas shown in years and was highly acclaimed by critics.

Drogheda Mayor Ged Nash said it was "appropriate" the council should honour the series and cast.

CAPTION(S):

FURIOUS: Mosignor Francis Donnelly; OUT OF FAVOUR: Show's creator Darren Thornton and Janet Mortan who plays Kate; CONTROVERSY: Scene from the show and, right, St Peter's in Drogheda
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 20, 2005
Words:344
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