Ballykissangel

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Ballykissangel
Ballyk title card.jpg
Series title card
Starring Dervla Kirwan
Stephen Tompkinson
Tony Doyle
Colin Farrell
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 6
No. of episodes 58 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Conor Harrington
Alan Moloney
Location(s) Enniskerry and Avoca, County Wicklow, Ireland
Running time 50 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC One
Original run 11 February 1996 (1996-02-11) – 15 April 2001 (2001-04-15)
External links
Website
Fitzgerald's, a pub in Avoca that was used as a primary exterior set in the series.

Ballykissangel is a BBC television drama created by Kieran Prendiville and set in Ireland, produced in-house by BBC Northern Ireland. The original story revolved around a young English Roman Catholic priest as he became part of a rural community. It ran for six series, which were first broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1996 to 2001. It aired in Ireland on RTÉ One and in Australia on ABC TV from 1996 to 2001. Reruns currently air on Drama in the United Kingdom and in the United States on some PBS affiliates.

Significant changes in the cast occurred at the end of series 3 following the departure of central characters, Peter Clifford and Assumpta Fitzgerald.[1]

The show faced a decline in ratings from a peak level of 10 million viewers to 4.8 million[2] and was eventually cancelled in 2001.[3]

The name of the fictional village in which the show was set is derived from Ballykissane, a townland near Killorglin in County Kerry, where the show's creator, Kieran Prendiville, holidayed with his family as a child. The village's name in Irish is shown as "Baile Coisc Aingeal", which means "The town of the fallen angel" on the sign outside the post office.[4]

The show was filmed in Avoca and Enniskerry in County Wicklow.

Cast[edit]

Character Series
Series 1 (1996) Series 2 (1997) Series 3 (1997–1998) Series 4 (1998) Series 5 (1999) Series 6 (2001)

The clergy[edit]

Father Frank MacAnally Niall Toibin
Father Peter Clifford Stephen Tompkinson
Father Aidan O'Connell Don Wycherley
Father Vincent Sheahan Robert Taylor

Landladies/bar staff[edit]

Assumpta Fitzgerald Dervla Kirwan
Niamh Quigley Tina Kellegher
Orla O'Connell Victoria Smurfit
Oonagh Dooley Marion O'Dwyer

Garda[edit]

Ambrose Egan Peter Hanly
Frankie Sullivan Catherine Cusack

The other villagers[edit]

Donal Docherty Frankie McCafferty
Liam Coghlan Joe Savino
Siobhan Mehigan Deirdre Donnelly
Brendan Kearney Gary Whelan
Kathleen Hendley Aine Ni Mhuiri
Brian Quigley Tony Doyle
Dr Michael Ryan Bosco Hogan
Eamon Byrne Birdy Sweeney
Padraig O'Kelly Peter Caffrey
Sean Dillon Lorcan Cranitch
Emma Dillon Kate McEnery
Danny Byrne Colin Farrell
Paul Dooley Owen Roe Owen Roe
Dermot Dooley Ciaran Owens
Grainne Dooley Katie Cullen
Avril Burke Susannah Doyle
Edso Dowling Paul Ronan
Louis Dargan Mick Lally
Kevin O'Kelly John Cleere
Kieran Egan Sam Farrar

Episodes[edit]

The programme ran for six series from 11 February 1996 to 15 April 2001. Almost all episodes were 50 minutes in duration.

All six series have been released in Region 1, 2 and 4. In 2010, four years after the release of series 5, series 6 was released on Region 2, along with a box set of series 1-6.

The ninth episode of series 3, "The Waiting Game", is omitted from the Region 2 series 3 DVD. This is not the case for Region 1 (North America) sets, which contain this episode.

Series one (1996)[edit]

No. No. in
series
Title Airdate
1 1 "Trying to Connect You" 11 February 1996
Father Peter Clifford arrives from England, transferred from Manchester to the small Irish village of Ballykissangel in 'the back of beyond'. The first person he meets is Assumpta Fitzgerald, the landlady and publican at Fitzgerald's, who seems to have a bad attitude towards the clergy. Off to a challenging start, he tries to get acquainted with the quirks of his congregation. Niamh Quigley, daughter of wealthy town businessman Brian Quigley, has a questionable scheme to discover whether her boyfriend Ambrose, the village Garda, will make a good husband, while Brian thinks Ballyk needs an automated confessional, complete with air conditioning and fax machine. Meanwhile, it appears Father Frank MacAnally (Fr Mac) may not be Fr Clifford's idea of an ideal superior.
2 2 "The Things We Do For Love" 18 February 1996
When Brian Quigley is frustrated by Fr Clifford in his effort to evict a family living in a caravan, the local football match takes on unexpected importance. Meanwhile, an attractive woman from Fr Clifford's past arrives in Ballyk uninvited.
3 3 "Live In My Heart And Pay No Rent" 25 February 1996
Widower Quigley is ready to rekindle an old flame while his daughter, Niamh, is looking forward to marrying her beloved Ambrose. Unfortunately after a close encounter, Ambrose has other ideas and the planned wedding is in jeopardy.
4 4 "Fallen Angel" 3 March 1996
It's Fr Clifford's birthday but he hasn't told any of his flock. So how does the DJ of the local pirate radio station know about it? Fr Mac insists Fr Clifford must be a 'mobile' priest, but driving lessons with Assumpta might not be such a good idea.
5 5 "The Power and the Gory" 10 March 1996
A death in the village necessitates a byelection. The fight is on between Sean Dooley and Brian Quigley. Ambrose finally agrees to a church wedding. Assumpta's former boyfriend Leo comes to the village to report on the election campaign. Liam and Donal accidentally exhume a 50-year-old skeleton.
6 6 "Missing You Already" 17 March 1996
Brian organises a local festival, but Assumpta is less than enthusiastic when it turns out to be a cover-up to steal business from Fitzgerald's. Ambrose and Niamh are finally wed and Fr Clifford learns he's to be sent back to England – but are the villagers as keen for him to go as Fr Mac is?

Series two (1997)[edit]

No. No. in
series
Title Airdate
7 1 "For One Night Only" 5 January 1997
Sparks fly when Fr Clifford casts Assumpta in an amateur dramatics play. She objects to playing the love scenes, but a stranger arrives in the village and agrees to play the romantic lead.
8 2 "River Dance" 12 January 1997
The village rallies around Brendan Kearney when he is threatened with being transferred to a teaching position in a different village. Elsewhere, there's a gold rush in Ballyk and Fr Clifford is not pleased with Liam and Donal's scheme to use a statue of the Virgin Mary to attract paying tourists.
9 3 "In the Can" 19 January 1997
Former one-hit wonder Enda Sullivan takes Assumpta on a date, and Fr Clifford recruits him to play at a Gospel Mass. Meanwhile, Brian Quigley attempts to produce and direct a tourist film.
10 4 "The Facts of Life" 26 January 1997
Peter finds an abandoned newborn on his doorstep and is able to track down the teenage mother and reunite them. Ambrose slips in the tub, and a new Garda arrives in Ballyk, who is very strict. Against Father Mac's wishes, Peter gives a speech about relationships, to the town youth.
11 5 "Someone to Watch over Me" 2 February 1997
Brian Quigley takes ribbing after he hires an attractive, flirtatious housekeeper who secretly schemes to marry him. Local children vex Peter and the storekeeper with their mischief. Niamh, feeling depressed after her miscarriage, starts helping at the elementary school.
12 6 "Only Skin Deep" 9 February 1997
Brian Quigley sets up a town beauty contest as part of the village festival. Siobhan goes undercover, while Peter and Ambrose try to reform a young delinquent.
13 7 "Money, Money, Money" 16 February 1997
A late-night fire guts the home of the village shopkeeper Kathleen. When she reveals she has no insurance, Fr Clifford organizes a campaign to help restore her house. He gets a wrong tip on a dog race, and they are forced to resort to a poker tournament to raise the needed money.
14 8 "Chinese Whispers" 23 February 1997
Two strangers cause chaos when the villagers think they are from the revenue service. Peter struggles to control his feelings when Niamh reveals that Assumpta may leave Ballyk for Dublin.

Series three (1998)[edit]

No. No. in
series
Title Airdate
15 1 "As Happy as a Turkey on Boxing Day" 21 December 1997
Everyone's Christmas plans fall apart when Padraig's son, Kevin, falls down a mine shaft. Peter is chosen by Fr Mac to entertain his nephew Timmy.
16 2 "When a Child Is Born" 1 March 1998
With the birth of Niamh's baby approaching, Ambrose's mother arrives to help. The village is in a frenzy when it appears a 'miracle' may have occurred in the church, which attracts a crowd of visitors. Padraig becomes a village news reporter, and Ambrose helps Niamh deliver her baby.
17 3 "Changing Times" 8 March 1998
Brian's latest venture to attract Korean investors involves bulldozing a local beauty spot. Fr Clifford reaches a critical impasse and makes a fateful decision.
18 4 "Stardust in Your Eyes" 15 March 1998
Quigley tries to impress a group of potential Korean investors, but no Irish band is available to entertain them. With Assumpta in Dublin, Niamh struggles to balance work in the pub with the demands of motherhood.
19 5 "The Fortune in Men's Eyes" 22 March 1998
When Ambrose's mother arrives to help care for baby Kieran, Quigley takes an unusual interest in her.
20 6 "I Know When I'm Not Wanted" 29 March 1998
Assumpta returns to Ballyk with her new husband Leo and finds Fr Clifford organizing a pub contest.
21 7 "Personal Call" 5 April 1998
Fr Mac falls ill, Assumpta's marriage deteriorates, and Quigley's financial situation worsens.
22 8 "Lost Sheep" 12 April 1998
Siobhan receives unexpected news that she is pregnant. Kathleen is inexplicably horrified when a mysterious young woman arrives in town searching for her older sister who had lived there 20 years ago. Eamon's wandering sheep become a hazard.
23 9 "The Waiting Game" 19 April 1998
While the population of Ballykissangel is obsessed with an anonymous lottery winner, Ambrose goes undercover to catch an infamous drug dealer in a nightclub in a neighboring town.
24 10 "Pack up Your Troubles" 26 April 1998
Quigley launches a new venture.
25 11 "The Reckoning" 3 May 1998
The town is caught up in a Chinese cooking competition when circumstances finally push Peter to confess his feelings to Assumpta.
26 12 "Amongst Friends" 4 May 1998
In the wake of disaster, Peter and Leo have a confrontation. Peter decides to leave Ballyk.

Series four (1998)[edit]

No. No. in
series
Title Airdate
27 1 "All Bar One" 20 September 1998
As Fitzgerald's pub and hotel go up for auction, many new people arrive in town, some more welcome than others. A local outbids a non-local lady for ownership of the pub, and the town is anticipating the arrival of their new priest, a former monk.
28 2 "He Healeth the Sick" 27 September 1998
While Eamonn tries to rid his farm of invading foxes, Fr Aidan begins working miracles on the sick. Fr Mac, however, is sceptical about the legitimacy of these miracles.
29 3 "Bread and Water" 4 October 1998
Siobhan prepares for a water birth; Fr Aidan has financial troubles; Sean Dillon's daughter arrives in Ballyk; and Niamh continues to move into her new home. The village women help deliver Siobhan's baby.
30 4 "Par for the Course" 11 October 1998
A roaming stranger wanders around Ballykissangel as Siobhan and Brendan argue over their daughter's christening. Brian persuades a friend of Orla's to partner with him in buying a golf course.
31 5 "The Odd Couple" 18 October 1998
Donal's new companion, a black bear, is roaming around the village wreaking havoc, while Kevin secretly starts working with Sean.
32 6 "Turf" 23 October 1998
The town is virtually deserted as everyone heads to the annual horse race where "Doctor Ryan" is in danger of losing to "Danny's Razor". Back in town, Ambrose tackles a Cilldargin drug dealer he once arrested.
33 7 "It's a Family Affair" 1 November 1998
At the grand opening of Brian's golf course, Micky comes face to face with an enemy from the past. Danny steals back his horse from Sean and his injury worsens.
34 8 "Rock Bottom" 8 November 1998
Padraig's life is falling apart at the seams, causing him to turn to drink for solace and escape. A fertility statue is uncovered on Sean's farm, and Fitzgerald's gets satellite TV.
35 9 "As Stars Look Down" 15 November 1998
An old friend of Fr Mac's returns to Ballyk for a visit with news of a promotion to the Vatican. In the meantime, Emma and Danny get stranded together when heavy rain sets in.
36 10 "Births, Deaths and Marriages" 22 November 1998
While Siobhan and Brendan prepare for their simple and secret wedding, Emma goes round the village digging up her family's past. Eamon has an accident, and Niamh and Ambrose feel that their marriage has lost its meaning.
37 11 "It's a Man's Life" 29 November 1998
As tension between Niamh and Ambrose continues to escalate, Niamh leaves Ambrose for the day. Donal and Liam look for extra cash in golf balls that have been lost in the river, and Kathleen gets an unexpected visit from an old sweetheart.
38 12 "The Final Frontier" 6 December 1998
A massive storm sweeps over Ballykissangel and everyone runs for cover. Niamh confronts her feelings for Sean, and Ambrose confronts his marriage with Niamh.

Series Five (1999)[edit]

Title Airdate Description
Two Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 26 September 1999 As Niamh and Sean come to a decision about their relationship, Brian, Orla, Liam and Donal compete in a hot air balloon race over Ballyk.
Hello and Farewell 3 October 1999 The sudden loss in Ballykissangel has left everyone in tears, particularly Niamh who must deal with the new changes in her life. In the meantime, Orla moves into a new cottage hoping for some freedom.
Catch of the Day 10 October 1999 While Niamh, Sean and Brian try to get back to normal life, Liam and Donal stumble across a crate of expensive stolen caviar washed ashore, that could cause them more harm than good.
Moving Out 17 October 1999 Due to the escalating tension between Emma and her father Sean, Emma leaves home and moves in with a young man temporarily. Meanwhile, Niamh decides she must leave as well, but to Dublin. Fr Aiden, having failed to keep accounts, is unprepared for the church auditor.
Eureka 24 October 1999 It's Kieran's 4th birthday and his gran Imelda has come for a visit, creating tension with Niamh. Orla brings a famous book editor on board Connor's boat.
Behind Bars 31 October 1999 As Niamh moves out of Fitzgerald's to begin her new life in Dublin, Paul Dooley, an old enemy of Brian Quigley, moves in with his wife Oonagh and their two children. Connor's attempts to arrange a romantic date for Orla go terribly wrong.
Brendan's Crossing 7 November 1999 Brendan applies for the position of headmaster, but his chances at securing the post look bleak, considering his competition and the members of the interview panel.
A Few Dollars More 21 November 1999 Donal's uncle Minto returns to Ballyk with a dangerous new business proposal, just in time for the arrival of the new Garda, Frankie Sullivan. Minto encourages Donal to risk his life savings for a chance to claim a stake in a gold mine, but his wife stops him doing so.
The Outsiders 28 November 1999 Frankie finds it hard to feel connected to the village when she orders Paul to do 50 hours of community service to make up for a crime. Brian begins to feel lonely without Niamh and Kieran.
With a Song in My Heart 5 December 1999 Fr Aidan is looking for choir singers but finds it hard to rally volunteers. Sean decides to visit Niamh in Dublin.
Love's Labours 19 December 1999 Niamh and Sean announce their engagement to the village and Father Mac. Some people are supportive, while others are unsure about their decision. Donal and Liam try their luck at gambling, and Fr Aidan organizes a raft race which has dramatic consequences.
The Wedding 28 December 1999 While Niamh and Sean prepare to say 'I do,' Frankie sets out to find a reckless, young driver (nearly making Fr Aidan late for the wedding), and Paul gets a visit from a friend from prison, who tries to con him.

Series Six (2001)[edit]

Title Airdate Description
God.com 1 March 2001 Fr Vincent Sheahan arrives in Ballyk from Australia. He quickly learns the ways of the villagers, as he deals with a new online confessional and the mysterious disappearance of Brian Quigley.
Drink 4 March 2001 Fr Sheahan is arrested for drink driving. Paul sets his sights on Louis's run-down shack.
The Cat and Daddy G. 11 March 2001 Fr Sheahan hears a confession that could be the answer to a mysterious assault. Grainne's pet goat turns out to be just what Avril's horse, The Cat, needs.
Spirit Proof 18 March 2001 Mysterious things happen around Ballyk when Paul acquires a fishing license for the pub. Kathleen wins a car and takes driving lessons from Edso.
Paul Dooley Sleeps with the Fishes 25 March 2001 Paul has a large debt to pay to Liam and Donal, and he hasn't got much time. Avril gets an unpleasant shock when a couple arrives in Ballyk for the weekend.
In a Jam 1 April 2001 While Siobhan waits for medical test results, the village holds its annual fete where Fr Sheahan will judge the jam competition.
Getting Better All the Time 8 April 2001 A faith healer has Doc Ryan and Fr Mac annoyed as she holds tent meetings near the village, while Paul orders Liam and Donal to move a sacred mass rock. A friend of Vincent comes to the village hoping to get married in St Joseph's, despite having previously been divorced.
Smoke Signals 15 April 2001 In the final episode of Ballykissangel, Fr Mac is appalled when he learns about the wedding Fr Sheahan conducted. Paul gets a tempting offer, and someone is found taking cannabis from a nearby field.

References[edit]

External links[edit]