Long-running Irish soap opera.




1979   1978   1972  


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Series cast summary:
Moira Deady Moira Deady ...  Mary Riordan 7 episodes, 1972-1979
John Cowley John Cowley ...  Tom Riordan 6 episodes, 1972-1979
Biddy White Lennon Biddy White Lennon ...  Maggie Riordan 6 episodes, 1972-1979
Joe Pilkington Joe Pilkington ...  Eamon Maher 5 episodes, 1972-1979
Gabriel Byrne ...  Pat Barry 4 episodes, 1978-1979
Annie D'Alton Annie D'Alton ...  Minnie Brennan 4 episodes, 1972-1979
Tom Hickey Tom Hickey ...  Benjy Riordan 3 episodes, 1972-1979
Chris O'Neill Chris O'Neill ...  Michael Riordan 3 episodes, 1972-1979
Mary Kearns Mary Kearns ...  Delia Maher 3 episodes, 1979
Rebecca Wilkinson Rebecca Wilkinson ...  Jude Hyland / ... 2 episodes, 1972-1978
Vincent Smith Vincent Smith ...  Murph 2 episodes, 1979
Pat Leavy Pat Leavy ...  Mrs. Murphy 2 episodes, 1979
Tony Doyle ...  Father Sheehy 2 episodes, 1972-1979
Gerry Sullivan Gerry Sullivan ...  Owen Howard 2 episodes, 1979


Long-running Irish soap opera.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

farm | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance







Release Date:

4 January 1965 (Ireland) See more »

Filming Locations:

County Meath, Ireland See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Spin-off Bracken (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant, slice of Irish life, potato soap opera
13 October 2000 | by Joseph 'Tea Bag' DolanSee all my reviews

If there is something dream-like and exotic about soap-operas, this is almost cinema-verite. The hard working agricultural souls of the fictional (yet oh so familiar, Leestown) are brilliantly brought to life in this long running series. Enjoying considerable cult status for the early thespian work of Gabriel Byrne, now a real film star in Hollywood, America, this is a gripping white knuckle ride of a drama. The antics of Batty Brennan and the long suffering Riordan family are almost Joycean in their serpentine connections. The bug bear of religion in Irish society is dealt with in a sympathetic and daring manner. The twin themes of the seasons passing and time moving on in the village, somehow purer than the world beyond are reminiscent of the works of Coppola, Wenders and Woody Allen, before he went weird. The stellar acting skills of Tom Hickey will be familiar to anyone who witnesed his tour de force role as Father Seamus in Nuns on the Run, and his scene stealing work in the Butcher Boy. His portrayal of Benjy Riordan is one of the more mythic explorations of the struggle of the Irish man to step out of the shadows of his domineering mother (Mrs Riordan) with literary echoes in 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.' The on-screen tension between Moira Deady as his mother is palpable, and there is an unresolved ongoing feud that builds brilliantly. The constant use of the line 'Ahhh Benjy" had a particular resonance from a mother fast giving up hope. Moira Deady was also acclaimed in her part in the movie version of 'Angela's Ashes'. Nor was The Riordans a mere springboard to greater things for many concerned, it was a fully realized series and an important step towards the Irish entertainment industry finding a voice of its own.

A must-see, for anyone who cares about Ireland, or just great telly in general.

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