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Irish comedians invited for audience with the Pope

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Ardal O’Hanlon, Tommy Tiernan and Patrick Kielty are among 100 entertainers invited to the Vatican this Friday for an audience with Pope Francis.

Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien and Chris Rock are also among the invited participants.

The pope “recognises the significant impact that the art of comedy has on the world of contemporary culture,” a Vatican statement said.

British comedian Stephen Merchant – the co-writer of the TV comedy series The Office – and Italian comedian Lino Banfi will also be at the event.

The meeting will take place on Friday morning, before the Pope travels to Puglia to attend the G7 leaders’ summit.

“The meeting between Pope Francis and the world’s comedians aims to celebrate the beauty of human diversity and to promote a message of peace, love and solidarity,” the Vatican said.

The audience has been organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education and Dicastery for Communication.

The invite to the Vatican is an ironic turn of events for some of the Irish comedians.

Mr O’Hanlon famously played Fr Dougal Maguire in Father Ted, whose character, among other things oversaw a funeral that ended in chaos, while after Mr Tiernan’s first appearance on The Late Late Show in 1997, there was hundreds of complaints following a routine based on the crucifixion.

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