It'll be first time St Peter's been told to feck off; FATHER JACK TRIBUTE AT STAR'S FUNERAL Father Ted comic's son tells congregation of his dad's first encounter at the pearly gates.
Byline: firstname.lastname@example.org BRIAN HUTTON
THE son of Father Ted comedian Frank Kelly yesterday told mourners at his dad's funeral that St Peter would have been told to "feck off" and open the gates of heaven for him.
Emmet Kelly used the phrase made famous by his dad when he played drunken priest Father Jack Hackett in the 1990s sitcom set in a priests' house on an isolated Irish island.
He told the congregation: "When he gets to heaven, when they choose to let Father Jack through duty free at the pearly gates, they'll have no choice. It will be the first time anyone ever told St Peter to feck off."
Frank died on Sunday, aged 77, following a 60-year career in theatre and on TV.
Irish president Michael D Higgins, Father Ted creators Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews as well as Ardal O'Hanlon, who played Father Dougal McGuire in the TV series, were among those paying their respects.
Such was his renown, "Father Jack" was trending on Twitter ahead of Donald Trump and Leonardo Di Caprio for a short while after his death, Emmet revealed.
He told the Church of the Guardian Angels in Dublin's Blackrock: "That's pretty cool."
Despite making fun of the Catholic Church, chief celebrant Father Bill Fortune said the actor was a devoted church-goer with a deep faith.
He pointed to the seat Kelly took "Sunday after Sunday" and which was "probably contoured to his person".
Fr Fortune said Frank was many things - a son, a sibling, a friend, a husband, a father, a grandfather, actor, writer and parishioner. He added: "But none of those could encapsulate him. He was much more than that."
After the service, Arthur Matthews said: "He'll be missed.
He was a legendary figure in Irish comedy."
MOURNERS Ireland's president Michael D Higgins, left, and Father Dougal actor Ardal O'Hanlon
TIMELESS Frank Kelly was loved by millions for his role as Father Jack. Picture: Channel 4