Mary from Mayo writes to the 'Gay Byrne Show' about life with an alcoholic husband. She appeals to his listeners for help.
- Title Letter from Mary
- 1st Broadcast 30/10/1986
- ContributorGay Byrne (Presenter)
- Clip Duration 00:04:52
- Material Type Audio
- Series title Gay Byrne Show
- Clip title "The Hell In Which My Children and I Live"
- Extended description
The long-running 'Gay Byrne Show' on RTÉ Radio 1 was often used as a forum by housewives, who confided their problems in letters to the host, Gay Byrne.
In this clip from 1986, Gay reads out a letter from Mary from Mayo, which he says "could have come from a great number of people around the country". Mary's husband is an alcoholic and "widowhood would be an escape from the hell in which my children and I live". Because she lives in a small town in the west of Ireland, she feels there is no one she can turn to for help but Gay Byrne and the listeners of his show.
Gay responds with advice he has received from Al-Anon, an organisation that supports the families of alcoholics. He says that "there is no point at all in covering up for her alcoholic husband" and that people in her town probably already know about him. He encourages her to go to Al-Anon, who have meetings all over the country, including Mayo, so she doesn't need to come to Dublin.
The 'Gay Byrne Show' began on radio as the 'Gay Byrne Hour' on 2 February 1973. In a rapidly changing Ireland, the programme became the public forum for many topics and debates of the day and was especially popular with housewives.
In 1979 the programme was given extended air time and changed name to become the 'Gay Byrne Show'. Broadcasting for two hours a day Monday to Friday, the 'Gay Byrne Show' stayed on air until Byrne's retirement in 1998.
The letter here was read out on 30 October 1986.
The photograph accompanying this clip shows Gay Byrne in a RTÉ Radio studio in 1981.
The photographer was John Rowe.
© RTÉ Stills Library 2043/010
- Local keywords Alcoholism, Al-Anon, Housewives, Families of Alcoholics
- Geographical coverage Ireland
- Genre Factual
- Topic Society and Social Issues
- Publisher Broadcaster RTÉ
- First broadcast channel RTÉ Radio One
- Production year 1986
- Country of production Ireland
- Original identifier LQC0008A
- IPR restrictions Rights Reserved - Free Access
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- Item type part/extract
- Item sound Mono
- Language used English (eng)
- Original language English (eng)
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