The Father, the Son & the Housekeeper

RTE (1 x 90 mins) and BBC (1 x 60 mins)

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Also RTE, entitled "At Home with the Clearys" (1 x 90 mins)

Also BBC NI, entitled "The Holy Show" (1 x 60 mins)


Winner of 2008 Irish Film & Television Award for Best Single Documentary

Winner of 2008 Prix Italia award for Best Documentary

Winner of 2008 Boston Irish Film Festival award for Best Documentary

Winner of 2008 Celtic Film Frank Copplestone First Time Director Award

Nominated for 2009 BAFTA Break-Through Talent Award for Director Alison Millar


Buried under concrete and controversy on the outskirts of Dublin lie the remains of Ireland's 'pop star priest', Father Michael Cleary.

In 1991, as a student, Alison Millar moved into his house and started filming him. Fifteen years on, using her unseen archive, this film is the story of the secret life of a man who fooled her, his family and an entire nation.

This film is a 'paradox' of the life and death of Father Michael Cleary, who at one time was the most powerful and charismatic figure in Catholic Ireland. Cleary was also known as the 'Singing Priest'. He had two best selling albums and topped the bill at the Sydney Opera House and the Stardust Club in Las Vegas.

Well-known for his staunch Catholic views on sex, divorce and abortion, it became clear after his death that he had lived a contradictory 'secret life' where his own housekeeper was his lover and mother of his children.

This film is an intimate examination of the human debris that the two sides of Cleary left behind, including a son Ross. A moving and shocking portrait of a man trapped by the conflict between his vocation and the role the church gave him, his ego, and the impossible demands of celibacy.

"...a very well composed documentary, gradually revealing the Father's shocking double life with his son's destiny as a major component."

Prix Italia Awards