Well, holy God, now Dinny leaves `Glenroe'

 

The RTE soap Glenroe has within a fortnight lost two of its leading actors following the announcement that Dinny (Joe Lynch) "will not be returning to the series in the autumn". His on-screen daughter-in-law, Biddy Byrne (Mary McEvoy), was killed off at the end of the most recent series.

RTE last night confirmed his departure after 20 years, taking into account Glenroe from its beginning and its precursor Bracken. No reason was given. A statement said the 75-year-old actor had made the decision. The series producer, Mr Paul Cusack, said Joe Lynch had been a major presence in Irish television drama over many years, but in the role of Dinny he "created a character that truly entered the nation's heart". He was also a household name in Britain, starring in Coronation Street.

Mr Wesley Burrowes, who devised both series, said a well-known Abbey actor had been forced to withdraw from the part of Dinny at the last minute through illness. "Bracken was a six-hour series; none of us could have known that those few months of filming would become 20 years in which Joe and Dinny would grow old gracefully together."

It remains to be seen what Dinny's son, Miley, will make of the double tragedy beyond his usual "well, holy God!" - take two.