In The News

Wildlife filmmaker Eamon de Buitlear passes away

Wildlife filmmaker Eamon de Buitlear passes away

ONE of Ireland’s best known wildlife filmmakers, Éamon de Buitléar, has passed away at the age of 83.

As well as being a respected filmmaker, Mr. de Buitléar was also a great supporter of the Irish language and traditional music.

He had started out as an independent film producer, working with the Dutch artist Gerrit Van Gelderen. They produced a number of films for the Irish state broadcaster RTE. Their work included the popular bilingual series Amuigh Faoin Spéir (Out Under The Sky).

Mr. de Buitléar also published a number of books on Irish natural history. His memoir, A Life in the Wild, was published in 2004.

He was an accomplished musician — playing the harmonica and accordian (see below) and was a founder member of Seán Ó Riada’s Ceoltóiri Chualann, the Irish traditional band.

In 1987, he was appointed to the Irish Senate (Seanad Éireann) in recognition of his tireless work on environmental issues.

Last year he donated his archive of films, music and writings to the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Tributes were led by the Irish President Michael D. Higgins. He said: “Eamon de Buitléar was an outstanding broadcaster. He was a great communicator, his warm and engaging personality as well as his enthusiasm and knowledge touched people of all ages.”

Mr. de Buitléar is survived by his wife Lailli and children Aoife, Eanna, Roisin, Cian and Doireann.

To see Eamon de Buitléar playing the harmonica at the National University of Ireland, Galway, click here.

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