When Portlaoise Town Commission lashed RTE for trying to bring Dallas style sex into Glenroe

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When Portlaoise Town Commission lashed RTE for trying to bring Dallas style sex into Glenroe

Glenore was a stable of the Sunday evening TV schedule in the 1980s

"Miley is no JR," opined outraged members of Portlaoise Town Commission when they met on April's Fool's Day 34 years ago (which also fell on the Monday) for their monthly meeting.  

In its lead story of April 6 1985, the Leinster Express reported on a heated discussion on 'Glenroe' and 'Dallas', two of the leading TV soaps of the era. The matter dominated the meeting, with members of the Commission lashing out at RTE scriptwriters for "trying to bring Dallas" into Glenroe. So incensed were the Town Commissioners that they decided to send a strongly worded protest letter to the RTE authority to complain about attempts to "meddle with family entertainment."

"They're trying to bring Dallas into Glenroe," said Town Commissioner Richie Graham, referring to a report earlier that day on the Radio Eireann programme Morning Ireland. Morning Ireland ran an interview with actor Mick Lally who played Miley in Glenroe, who said he had enough of the series as he was asked to appear naked in a future edition of the programme. 

"They should put the foot down on their scriptwriters," demanded Commissioner Graham, who proposed that a very strongly worded letter would be sent to the RTE Authority. He said that Glenroe was the only programme that showed what life in rural Ireland was like. It was a programme with which every rural person could be associated with.  "The scriptwriters are trying to bring sex into everything," said Commissioner Graham. 

"The only sex I knew about was between the Jack Russell and the greyhound," said the Chairman of the Commission, Tom Jacob, referring to an earlier episode of 'Glenroe'. Commissioner Jacob agreed that any plans to bring sex into 'Glenroe' would spoil the programme. 

"I feel very strongly about it," said Commissioner Graham. "I am fairy broad minded but this is family entertainment, something that the whole family can sit down and watch, and it should not be meddled with."

"I want to second Commissioner Graham's proposal," said Commissioner Willie Aird. He said that 'Glenroe' was family entertainment and that RTE were bringing sex into everything. It would spoil 'Glenroe' if it were turned into a 'Dallas' style programme. "We should send a letter," said Commissioner Aird. 

Cllr Jerry Lodge told the meeting that he did not thing that Miley typified a rural Irishman. He did, however, agree that the present composition of the programme should not be changed. 

Chairman Tom Jacob said that 'Glenroe' was on a par with Gay Byrne's 'Late Late Show.' "It is good clean entertainment," he said. "It's based on being simple and very wholesome." The meeting agreed to send a letter of protest to the RTE Authority. 

However, the Town Commissioners forgot that Monday was more than just the first Monday of  the month. It was also April 1 - April Fools Day.   

Fintan Drury, a reporter with Morning Ireland, confirmed to the Leinster Express that it was all a hoax which had been planned over a week before.

And the Town Commission were taken in by it all!