The Riordans

(ended 1979)


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The Riordans

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Welcome to The Riordans guide at

The Riordans, a drama about life in a rural Irish village, was the most successful serial in the history of RTE, running for 15 years. The Riordans was supposed to be set in county Kilkenny; however, the village of Dunboyne, in the county of Meath was the actual filming location.

The Riordans emerged into the midst of the Ireland of the Lemass era and was an integral part of the struggle between liberal and conservative views and values that was playing itself out with some vigour in these years. The Riordans was firmly modernising in its mission, while giving sensitive and sympathetic expression to traditional values. Despite being given a voice in such well drawn characters as Mary Riordan, this section of the society did not respond well to their values being challenged in any way at all. They mobilised again and again to put pressure on RTE and the programme was surrounded by considerable controversy.

RTE'S pioneering rural soap 'The Riordans', caused ructions among the country's professional civil servants over its negative portrayal of a Department of Agriculture official in the hugely popular TV series.

"The portrayal of 'the department man' as a person accustomed to transacting business in public houses and having dubious financial dealings with farmers to whom he is rendering a service on behalf of the government is considered by our members to be nothing short of libelous," wrote the institute's general secretary, RB Pares.

The the spat ended when the character disappeared after four episodes.moreless