Meet the faces behind 'Harbour Hotel' the RTÉ Radio 1 lunchtime soap opera celebrating its 2,000th episode.
Actor Barbara McCaughey who plays Kathryn O'Connell in ‘Harbour Hotel’ was the first voice heard when the inaugural episode aired on 1 April 1975. Kathryn inherited Harbour Hotel from an aunt and returned to Ireland from America with every intention of selling the hotel and living off the proceeds. However, eight years later Kathryn is still in the hotel business and seemingly in possession of the only recession proof hotel in Ireland.
The first thing people say when they find out Barbara is Kathryn O'Connell is
You don’t look a bit like her.
RTÉ radio producer Frank O'Dwyer explains how ‘Harbour Hotel’ came about. Tim Danaher came up with the idea and suggested Lee Dunne as scriptwriter. PJ O’Connor and Patrick Maguire worked out the basis of the series with Noel Jones as script editor. Frank O'Dwyer himself came up with the name for the series. He is not surprised the drama has lasted as it incorporates many elements of interest.
The basis of the script was very well worked out, it was a hotel in a seaside village somewhere on the east coast and there was a farming background so you could bring in quite a big cast of people into that hotel and they could have farming interests, fishing or whatever.
Daphne Carroll plays the role of Mrs Doyle, the formidable Harbour Hotel cook. In the 2000th episode she has won a weekend stay at the hotel and as guest and is causing as much chaos as she can in her workplace. The episode ends on a cliff-hanger with Mrs Doyle choking on some steak and Gabriel Murphy as Chris Curran declaring
I think she’s dead.
Other ‘Harbour Hotel’ actors in this report include Maurie Taylor as Des Finlay and Patrick Dawson as Paddy Boylan. Harbour Hotel' ran from 1975-1990.
An ‘Ireland’s Eye’ report broadcast on 24 January 1983. The reporter is Pat Butler.