Saturday 25 October 2014

`Small potatoes' forced Dinny to quit Glenroe

By ALAN O'KEEFFE and GRAINNE CUNNINGHAM

Published 26/05/2000 | 00:11

DEPARTING Glenroe star Joe Lynch today claimed he was ``shamefully treated'' by RTE when he asked for a pay rise. When the station only offered

DEPARTING Glenroe star Joe Lynch today claimed he was ``shamefully treated'' by RTE when he asked for a pay rise.

When the station only offered him ``small potatoes,'' the actor who plays wily Dinny walked out.

``They made me an offer I had to refuse,'' he said from his Spanish home last night. He revealed that he was offered a 3pc increase, ``which is not even the national norm. I felt I was being shamefully treated.''

The Glenroe stalwart, who will be 75 in July, said he was giving up acting altogether now and would move permanently to his villa on the Spanish coast.

RTE sources confirmed that the sudden departure of Dinny from the ailing soap was caused by a dispute over pay. It comes on top of the decision by Mary McEvoy, who played Biddy, to resign and the announcement by Miley actor Mick Lally to split his schedule between RTE and the BBC hit-show, Ballykissangel. @@STYL cf,tmb

But an RTE spokeswoman strongly refuted ``any accusation that Joe Lynch was shamefully treated in contract negotiations for the new series of Glenroe''. She said he was made an offer in line with that of his fellow actors ``and it was an offer he chose not to accept.''

Joe Lynch said it was not a hard decision to leave the series, although he had been playing the Dinny character in both Glenroe and Bracken for some 20 years. ``I was dissatisfied for a while,'' he said.

Mr Lynch said Glenroe was not viewed favourably by RTE management and that he and his fellow actors were never offered any gesture of appreciation for their contribution to the highly successful series.

He stressed that after 20 years with the show he wouldn't get a pension or anything. ``They treated us very raw indeed,'' he said.

An RTE source said the departure had been anticipated for some time due to the age of Mr Lynch and said that alternative scripts were already prepared.

However, Mr Lynch described recent developments the death of Biddy's character and now his own disappearance as a ``wipe-out'' for the show which was ``very sad.''

``I worked very hard. I never wasted a second of their time because I'm greedy about time. When I'm working for somebody I hate messing around,'' he said.

He also criticised RTE for preventing him from doing other work while he was in Glenroe. ``I was terrible restricted in RTE they wouldn't let me off for anything, even commercials''.

But he insisted he was not bitter at RTE. ``Bitterness is like spitting into the wind. What can you do about it? It's done.''

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