The cast of The Riordans are told that the long running rural soap opera is to end.

Head of drama with RTÉ Louis Lentin reads out a press release to cast members of the much loved television drama series ‘The Riordans’ including Gabriel Byrne, Mary Kearns, Moira Deady, Anna Heffernan, Chris O'Neill and Mary Kearns. 

The Controller of Programmes at RTÉ One Muiris Mac Conghail has decided that after 15 years on air, ‘The Riordans’ will cease when production of the current series ends on 27 May 1979. He regrets the decision to axe a much loved and eagerly awaited programme and notes replacing it will not be easy.

Louis Lentin says the actors will receive a generous golden handshake for their service but, 

Taking all the factors into consideration we felt that now is the right time to make the change.

Moira Deady who plays the role of Mary Riordan cannot understand why such a successful and popular soap opera is being axed. Her recently deceased husband, actor John Hoey played Francie Maher in ‘The Riordans’ and Moria is relieved he is not alive to see the demise of the show.

'The Riordans' writer and series editor Wesley Burrowes feels it is the right time for the series to finish but acknowledges it is a sad occasion and a shocking blow for the actors.

Chris O'Neill who plays Michael Riordan cannot understand the logic behind RTÉ management taking a popular programme off air. He does not think the actors can do anything about the decision but says the public can do a great deal. Biddy White Lennon who plays Maggie Riordan believes a drama that deals with rural life is still relevant to the public and urges them to write into RTÉ to have their say.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 20 December 1978. The reporter is Derek Davis.