Thursday 23 January 2020

Fr Ted star 'can't pay €150 fine until he gets a new role'

Gerard McSorley played Fr Todd Unctious in Father Ted. Photo: North West Newspix
Gerard McSorley played Fr Todd Unctious in Father Ted. Photo: North West Newspix

A court was told that Father Ted star Gerard McSorley will not be able to pay a €150 fine until he gets a new acting contract next month.

The 69-year-old actor, who has also had roles in a number of top films, appeared before Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal yesterday.

An arrest warrant had been issued after he failed to appear earlier this week.

Inspector Sean Grant told the court McSorley was arrested at Letterkenny Bus Station on November 27 for being drunk and disorderly.


He was taken to Letterkenny Garda Station but continued to be abusive to gardai and members of the public.

While in the cell, he continually spat at the door, which cost €50 to clean.

After he was released from custody, McSorley continued to be abusive and spat at a member of the public at the station and was re-arrested.

McSorley, wearing a scarf and hat and using a walking stick, did not address the court.

His solicitor, Patsy Gallagher, said his client was a very well-known actor with a "distinguished career".

However, he said he had a number of issues, including alcohol, mental and medical.

He said his client estimated he had spent €80,000 on prescription tablets over the years to cope with his health problems.

He added that on the evening in question he had been drinking and reminiscing about a number of lost colleagues.

"My client is not working at present, but is getting a contract in the new year. He is technically unemployed at present," said Mr Gallagher.

"He has made contact with his family and is hoping to spend Christmas with them."

He added that his client was a separated man with three grown-up children.

The court heard that McSorley, of Trinity Court, Newtowncunningham, Co Donegal, had a number of previous convictions for public order offences.

Judge Paul Kelly fined him €100 for breach of the peace and €50 for criminal damage to the garda station cell.

The judge asked if he could pay the fine there and then, but Mr Gallagher said he did not have the money. McSorley was given six months to pay, and legal aid was granted.

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