24th November 2017

Fr Dougal key to centuries-old row

A FORMER parish priest from South Armagh has pleaded with Irish comedian Ardal O’Hanlon to support him in a long-running dispute with the O’Hanlon clan.

Fr Edmund Murphy of Killeavy said that Mr O’Hanlon’s family ties to notorious 17th century outlaw Redmond O’Hanlon, and his links to the church as Fr Dougal, would make him a perfect referee when the two old enemies take to the stage for ‘Redmond O’Hanlon: the Life and Death of an Outlaw’ this Saturday.

“As a fellow priest, and a man of wisdom and discernment, I expect that Fr Dougal will be able to see straight to the heart of the matter,” Fr Murphy said.

“I believe he has some family ties to this Redmond O’Hanlon character, but surely an educated man of the cloth will be able to see through the romance, through the enchantment that O’Hanlon has thrown over my flock.

“Redmond O’Hanlon is a blight on the country but he is beloved by the people. When I preached against him, telling my parishioners not to offer the outlaw shelter or protection, O’Hanlon issued an order that anyone who attended my Mass would have a cow slaughtered… and anyone who attended three times would be killed themselves. I fear for my very life for speaking out against him.

“However, I’ve been asked to speak out again in Mullaghbane on December 2nd and I fully intend to do so. This may be a long-running argument but it is as vigorous as it was when it began in 1666.”

Redmond O’Hanlon was a notorious 17th century rapparee or outlaw in an area covering South Armagh, the Mournes and much of south Down.

His family were chieftains of the O’Hanlon clan and Lords of Orier but they lost their lands to the Crown and were finally displaced in the 1600s.

His colourful lifestyle and his many adventures as an outlaw will be brought to life in a rip-roaring new musical production by The Rapparee Five at the Ti Chulainn Centre, Mullaghbane, on Saturday December 2nd at 7.30pm.


Tickets are available from Ti Chulainn, on the Redmond O’Hanlon Facebook page or on


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