Fake News: Pope Did NOT Cut Dublin Visit Short To Investigate Financial Irregularities On Small Island Parish

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Pope Did NOT Cut Dublin Visit Short To Investigate Financial Irregularities On Small Island Parish

Did Pope Francis cut his visit to Ireland short in order to investigate some financial irregularities of a small island parish? No, that's not true: a satirical website made up the story using details from the fictional television show "Father Ted". It is not real.

The story originated from an article published by the Southend News Network on August 25, 2018 titled "Pope cuts Dublin visit short to investigate financial irregularities on small island parish" (archived here) which opened:

A spokesperson for The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis has cut short his visit to Dublin to investigate allegations of financial irregularities on a small island parish.

According to sources close to the Pontiff, the allegations relate to transactions in the early 1990's that correspond to donations made via a priest who was in charge at the time.

One source said, 'We are not in a position to name him at the present time, but we are aware that he is insisting that the money was resting in his account.'

None of this happened for real and the phrase "money resting in an account" is a catchphrase from the TV show Father Ted which aired from 1995 to 1998 and which followed the adventures of several Catholic priests banished to a parish on a small island for various misdeeds, including financial ones.

Father Ted - Wikipedia

Father Ted is a British sitcom that was produced by Hat Trick Productions for Channel 4. Written by Irish writers Arthur Mathews & Graham Linehan and starring a predominantly Irish cast, it originally aired over three series from 21 April 1995 until 1 May 1998, including a Christmas special, for a total of 25 episodes.

The image illustrating the story is the actual house used in the series:

How to get to Father Ted's House

The fictional Irish priest Father Ted lives in an old parochial house on Craggy Island off the coast of Ireland. His roommates are nitwit Dougal and drunken Father Jack. The housekeeper Mrs. Doyle tries to keep them all in line with plates of sandwiches and pots of tea.

The Southend News Network is a satirical site pretending to be a news organisation by the English coast in Southend. They have a disclaimer on their about page that reads (in part):

Southend News Network was originally started in October 2015 with no real aims or objectives in mind other than to add a satirical/spoof-like touch to issues that people are passionate about in Southend On Sea. Above all else, SNN is all about having the occasional 'dig' at the powers that be, as well a slightly bigger and more frequent 'dig' at certain elements of local media!

Several of their stories have been mistaken for real news in the past and the site was recognized by the local authorities as an "official news outlet".

We wrote about southendnewsnetwork.net before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion