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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 22 October 2020

Wesley Burrowes, the man behind Glenroe, has died

He was 85.

wesley3 Wesley Burrowes Source: RTE

THE CREATOR OF Glenroe, Wesley Burrowes, has died. He was 85.

Burrowes, a playwright and screenwriter, was the man behind such seminal RTE dramas as Tolka Row, The Riordans, Bracken, and, most famously of all, Glenroe.

He passed away this morning following a long illness.

RTE Director-General Noel Curran said that Burrowes had made the “defining contribution” to televised serial drama in Ireland.

“Wesley did not simply create plotlines, he created entire worlds, populated with original characters who themselves became household names on a scale unheard of before or since,” Curran said.

Universally respected, beloved by his actors and crews, he captured facets of Irish life, and the Irish people, that resonated deeply with audiences.
His exceptional talents sustained him across four decades of writing for the small screen, and his place as the master of Irish television serial drama is assured.

Curran said that all of RTE extends their “sincere condolences to Wesley’s family”.

Burrowes’ most famous creation, Glenroe (itself a spin-off from The Riordans and Bracken), ran for 18 years between 1983 and 2001.

Every Sunday evening the nation tuned in to follow the rural exploits of Miley and Biddy, Dick and Mary, while schoolchildren across the nation will forever associate the groundbreaking drama with not having their weekend homework done.

Born and raised in Co Down, Burrowes first came to RTE television in 1964 after gaining some theatrical success as a playwright.

The following 30 years saw him as the inspiration behind some of Ireland’s most memorable small-screen dramas.

Just last week an RTE retrospective on Glenroe aired with revealing interviews with Burrowes extensively featured.

He is survived by his wife Helena with whom he lived in Bray, Co Wicklow, his son Kim, and daughter Ciara.

Read: Glenroe had every Irish person panicking about their homework last night

Read: 10 pictures that remind every Irish person of Sunday nights

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