| 7.8°C Dublin

I couldn't raise animals to kill - Mary

She found fame as Glenroe farming family matriarch Biddy Byrne, but Mary McEvoy has said she's against rearing animals for slaughter.

McEvoy, who played Biddy for 18 years and lives on a farm in real life, revealed she does not want to rear livestock purely for the purpose of killing them, but respects her neighbours who farm.

"I'm very close to a lot of my neighbours, but it's not for me any more," she told the RTE Guide.

"I still have the farm because I want to keep that connection, but I no longer want to rear animals for slaughter."

The 60-year-old lived in Dublin for more than 20 years, but after the death of her mother she moved back to the family farm in Co Westmeath.

McEvoy had a long battle with depression and recently told how she used to cry every day on the Glenroe set.

However, she said farming had helped her battle her mental health problems and find a sense of duty.


A major contributing factor to her depression was her unhealthy eating habits, which spanned over the course of four decades.

"For 41 years I was binge-eating as a way to alleviate stress," she said.

"Having no control was a huge contributor to my depression."

Luckily for her, she met "the right person at the right time", giving her the right advice and helping her to cut down from the 3,000 calorie feasts she would eat in one sitting.

As well as a change in her attitude towards farming, she has also converted to Buddhism, managing to pray on a regular basis despite her hectic schedule, even if it means in the back of a taxi.

Since Glenroe ended in 2001, McEvoy has kept busy.

She is currently touring the country with Michael Scott's The Matchmaker, on top of tending the farm.