A Donegal ecologist has paid tribute to film maker and conservationist, the late Éamon de Buitléar.
Mr. de Buitléar was one of Ireland’s first independent film-makers was also involved in Irish traditional music. He also served as a senator.
President Michael D Higgins said several generations are indebted to Mr de Buitléar for their knowledge and understanding of Ireland’s national heritage,
Raphoe-based ecologist Ralph Sheppard said the filmmaker integrated wildlife into Irish culture. He said that before Mr. de Buitléar’s work many people in Ireland regarded wildlife as something that happened else where. “It was where David Attenborough and his predecessors went but it did not happen in Ireland,” he said. “Eamon was the first person to show that there was wildlife in Ireland and that people could go out and see it themselves and that was hugely important. He continued to do that and continued getting fresh angles on wild places and wild species right up to the end and a lot of his films stand the test of time.
“He integrated wildlife into Irish culture. The background music in all his films would have been traditional Irish. He was a fine musician, he could do a commentary in Irish or English as appropriate. As well as saying this is here in Ireland, he was saying this is part of our culture, part of our heritage. It is along side language and music as what we have to cherish and I think that was the most important thing about Eamonn.”