Ardal O'Hanlon (born 8 October 1965 at Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, Republic of Ireland) is a comedian and actor, best known for his role as Father Dougal McGuire in the comedy television series Father Ted. His father is Rory O'Hanlon, an Irish politician and doctor.
O'Hanlon also starred in the comedy series, My Hero, in which he plays a superhero naive to Earth and juggling his world-saving duties with the crises of suburban living. Prior to that he had appeared in the more serious series Big Bad World.
Ardal O'Hanlon was schooled in Blackrock College in Dublin and graduated from the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin (now Dublin City University) in Communications Studies in 1987. He started out as a stand-up comedian, and was spotted by Graham Linehan, who was to cast him in Father Ted.
In 1997 he appeared (as Father Dougal) in a Channel 4 ident and during Comic Relief on BBC1.
He also provided the voice of the lead character in a Christmas television cartoon special entitled Robbie the Reindeer - Hooves of Fire. He is currently appearing in the BBC 1 sitcom Blessed. The show is written by Ben Elton. At the 2005 British Comedy awards it was publicly slated by Jonathan Ross, albeit in jest.
Beyond the world of television, O'Hanlon is an accomplished writer, and has written a novel (The Talk of the Town - known in the United States as Knick Knack Paddy Whack) which was published in 1998.
Ardal is a massive football fan, and is a proud supporter of the English Football League Championship team, Leeds United F.C.