Watch Ballykissangel

The British drama series Ballykissangel takes place in a fictional village in Ireland bearing the same name as the television series itself. Ballykissangel ran for six seasons before being cancelled by the British network the BBC; the first three seasons told the story of an English Catholic priest called Father Peter Clifford. Although it featured the stories of everyday people in the village the series proved controversial as it centered on the possible romantic relationship between the priest and a woman from the village called Assumpta Fitzgerald.

For the first three seasons, which began in 1996 Ballykissangel starred Stephen Tompkinson as the English priest Father Clifford and Dervla Kirwin as assumptive Fitzgerald. One of the reasons used for cancelling the television show was that from the end of the third season through to the end of the sixth the cast underwent many changes that it was claimed confused some viewers. Both Tompkinson and Kirwin left the series at the climax of the thrid season after the character of Father Peter had professed his love for Assumpta.

In the fouth and fifth seasons Don Wycherley played Father Aiden O'Connell and Victoria Smurfit played Orla O'Connell; the pair left the series at the end of the fifth season and were replaced by the characters of Father Vincent Sheahan and OOnagh Dooley. The series was created by Kieran Prendiville and based upon the village of Ballykissane where Prendiville vacationed as a child.

The 65 episodes of Ballykissangel have been broadcast around the world, including the U.K., Australia and the U.S. The cancellation of Ballykissangel was not expected in 2001 as a seventh season had been written and the production planned; many of the actors in the show had been contracted to perform and filming scheduled to begin in 2001. Ballykissangel was filmed in the Irish region of County Wicklow.

BBC One
7 Seasons, 62 Episodes
September 26, 1999
Drama
7.5/10
Cast: Frankie McCafferty, Joe Savino, Deirdre Donnelly, Gary Whelan
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Ballykissangel Full Episode Guide

  • Father Peter is worrying about what to do with the live turkey he has won. Assumpta is determined to close her pub on Christmas Day. And Brian Quigley is off to Klosters for a week of skiing.

  • As Fitzgerald's closes, it could be the start of a beautiful friendship for Vincent and Father Mac.

  • Vincent needs a leap of faith if he is to be true to his best friend. The arrival of a faith-healer and a truculent Father Mac only adds to his problems.

  • Competiton leads to tensions before the parish fete whilst something appears to be bothering Siobhan.

  • When Avril's ex husband arrives in town, Vincent fights to provide her some solace.

  • The ghost of an old highwayman returns to haunt the village when Dooley appropriates some ancient fishing rights originally granted to the pub. Meanwhile, Kathleen causes havoc as she learns to drive.

  • Grainne's pet goat suddenly becomes indispensable after meeting Avril's horse, The Cat.

  • Frankie stops Vincent for drunk-driving.

  • Vincent Sheahan, the new Australian priest arrives and plays detective when an on-line confessional gets out of control.

  • Father Aidan is church choir auditions look bleak, until the young Mairead enchants him with her beautiful voice. It is the anniversary of Dillon's wife and Emma's mother's death. Meanwhile, Orla is enjoying the comforts of Quigley's house, even inviting Frankie to share in the saunas and champagne. But things go horribly wrong when Liam and Donal turn up seeking distraction from the choir.

  • Brendan and Brother Dominic are up for the post of headmaster of Ballykissangel National School. At Fitzgerald's, Dooley, keen as ever to make a penny rents the upstairs room to a visiting school governor and needs it painted fast, while barmaid Orla finds herself in the middle of a dispute. Elsewhere, Danny's pig, Una, plays Cupid.

  • Ex-prisoner Paul Dooley arrives in Ireland to discover he and his family are moving to Ballykissangel, home of his old enemy, Brian Quigley. Niamh is set to move to Dublin as the shadow of Ambrose still lingers. Elsewhere, Orla is finishing her cottage renovation and fending off Conor's advances. Oblivious, Conor prepares a surprise romantic dinner and is thwarted by Orla's planned dinner party.

  • The news breaks that Niamh is selling Fitzgerald's and moving to Dublin. Quigley is to mastermind the sale. There are two prospective buyers, the retired Malachy Mullan and Oonagh Dooley. Meanwhile, Aiden - never at his best with such temporal matters - has the rather unspiritual job of preparing for the diocesan auditor.

  • Liam and Donal are busy stealing sand off the beach to fill Quigley's golf bunkers, when they find a large crate of expensive Beluga caviar floating in the sea. Kieran is beginning to show the first signs of strain since Ambrose's death. Niamh decides she must leave Ballykissangel. Devastated, Dillon tries unsuccessfully to dissuade her. Orla and Conor go racing quad bikes on their first date.

  • It's the day of Ambrose's funeral, Aiden reads out a police statement from the couple Ambrose saved before falling to his death declaring his heroic act. Relations between Dillon and Niamh are strained and she asks him to stay away for a while as she needs time on her own. Elsewhere, Danny and Eamon are planning their organic pig farm and Orla moves into Murty Quinn's rundown old cottage.

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Ballykissangel is available to watch and stream on BBC One. You can also buy, rent Ballykissangel on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes online.