I’m sure you remember the Father Ted TV series which featured the lives of some Priests put out of harms way on Craggy Island. Father Ted seemed to have been exiled due to a misunderstanding around church funds ‘resting’ in his bank account.
Well I've been spending a few days in Galway, last night, when looking for a quick meal I experienced unbelievable Irish hospitality. I went to check the menu of one hostelry and was presented with a map for orientating myself round the restaurant and a collection of coupons. My wife and I were then able to experience the various food options available free of charge, I’d pancakes with maple syrup, chicken curry, a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, carrot cake, cupcakes and a few mocktails. I tell you, you couldn’t make it up. You may recall the catchphrase of Father Ted's housekeeper, Mrs Doyle, “ah, go on, …”.
This morning I then read of the Office of Public Works (OPW) search for 20 artworks in Leinster House (the Irish equivalent of the Houses of Parliament). Apparently a large number went missing after the change of power in the Irish General Election of 2010 but “some of the artworks were listed as unlocated since 2008 and several of these are original prints, which are editioned prints, and they may have been located outside the Leinster House complex”. The OPW spokesperson continued: “With the last change in government, there was a major turnaround of personnel and office spaces and this resulted in an unprecedented number of artworks being moved and redistributed throughout the Leinster House complex”.
No one is actually suggesting the missing paints have been stolen; they just appear to be ‘resting’ somewhere they shouldn’t be and whoever they are ‘resting’ with doesn’t seem aware of the strange presence of non-purchased artworks. Perhaps they will join some of those wonderful 'finds in the atic' in a future Antiques Roadshow or perhaps it just a Father Ted moment and Irish ministers and mandarins misunderstanding Irish hospitality.