Tributes paid to actor Fergus O'Kelly, Father Ted's 'Laughing Priest', who has sadly passed away
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Tributes paid to actor Fergus O'Kelly, Father Ted's 'Laughing Priest', who has sadly passed away

IRISH ACTOR Fergus O'Kelly has sadly passed away.

The actor and musician is best-known for his portrayal of Fr Barty Dunne, the 'Laughing Priest' from Channel 4's Father Ted.

His daughter, Deirdre, broke the sad news on Twitter earlier this week, sharing photographs of her father alongside the caption:

"My Dad Fergus died yesterday, most of you will know him as the Laughing Priest Father Barty Dunne from [Father Ted].

"He was also a wonderful singer who touched many people's hearts.

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"Keep laughing and singing Dad, we love you".

Ms O'Kelly's announcement led to an outpouring of love from fans of Fergus, whose cameo in the Father Ted episode is regarded as one of the best one-off characters in the series.

"That's triggered a need to binge watch Father Ted," one person wrote. "Cherish the happy memories you have."

To which Ms O'Kelly responded: "That would make him very happy! He loved to make people smile."

The popular Twitter page 'Father Ted Quote of the Day' also shared the news with their followers with a screengrab of the famous scene, writing:

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"RIP to the wonderful Fergus O'Kelly, who played the always laughing Fr. Barty Dunne in Father Ted."

While Mr O'Kelly was best-known for his acting roles, he was also a talented musician and singer.

You can hear one of his recordings, a cover of The Lark In The Clear Air, below.