This week on Times Past, we go back to 1983 and the launch of Ireland’s newest, rural soap, Glenroe.
The first episode aired in 1983, with the show winning over the public from the get-go. This week RTÉ took us back to where it all began, with Miley and Dinny Byrne selling their mountainous Sheep farm.
We are greeted by the pair discussing the deal on the snowy mountain, fresh after selling the last of their sheep. They discuss the deal and whether or not they made the right decision, to sell their farm in search of better land in Wicklow. We instantly hear their indecisiveness at the deal.
“I wonder if we are doing right at all,” says Miley.
“Wisest thing we ever did” replied Dinny.
The pair talk of the sheep lambing in a few weeks and not being able to see the lambs. The two seem content, as they realize they won’t have to deal with the hard labour involved at lambing season, as the recount previous years bringing in “lambs frozen to the lamps”.
“Staying up a month before that watching for dogs, I’m getting too old for that.” says Dinny.
“I wonder if we are doing right at all” questions Miley.
Then they move on from the lands and settle at a bridge over a stream, as they discuss other lands and having looked at nothing yet.
“It’s been nearly three weeks now and we have looked at nothing yet,” says Miley.
“There’s no one rushing us out” Dinny replies.
Then comes the classic Glenroe opening theme, how could we forget it!!The duo continue their discussion and decide to begin looking for new land on Monday.
“All right we’ll start looking on Monday, but I don’t know if we’re doing right at all”, says Dinny.
The local postman then arrives just as the lads made their decision, with a cheque from the bank of Wicklow for Dinny. It turns out to be the money for the sale of the land, much to Dinny’s delight.
“Are you taking off so?” says Jim the Postman.
“Taking off, ah no no no. Not for a while yet” replies Dinny.
Dinny then proceeds to give Jim a few pound on the sly, as a gesture for his services, before Jim then takes off, before Miley voices his displeasure at Dinny giving Jim money. Miley then asks whether or not Dinny would like a cup of tea, to which Dinny replies no.
“Will I make a cup of tea or what?” says Miley.
“You can if you like, I’m going to town.” says Dinny.
Miley then asks should they go look for land at the local estate agents, to which Dinny also replies no.
“I have other business to attend to today...I have to give me instructions to me bank manager” Dinny says.
The beginning of an era for Irish television and rural Ireland. Miley went onto capture the hearts of the nation, with his relationship to Biddy. The rest, as they say, is history. To view the clip of the archived pilot episode of Glenroe, visit the RTÉ website here