ÉAMON de BUITLÉAR is Irelands best known independent wildlife filmmaker. He has dedicated his life to influencing public opinion and government policy on environmental issues, through his films books and engagement with the public.
Éamon de Buitléar has been making independent wildlife films since the early nineteen sixties. He began by writing and presenting radio programmes on traditional Irish music prior to the arrival of television in Ireland. His Amuigh Faoin Spéir series (Out Under the Sky) which he co-produced and originated with Dutch artist Gerrit Van Gelderen, was Irelands very first wildlife series. It was the very first time that Irish wildlife was beamed into Irish households and the effect was quite dramatic The programmes had a major influence on the Irish publics attitude to the environment. Later programmes included; The Natural World and The Living Isles ( BBC) and TV series such as Exploring the Landscape, Irelands Wild Countryside, A Life in the Wild ( RTE). Wild Islands) RTE, STV and S4C) Nature Watch (ITV), Éiníní and Ainimhithe na hÉireann (TG4).
He is the author of several books, including schoolbooks on Ireland’s natural history both in English and in Irish. A recent memoir Irelands Wild Countryside published by Gill & McMillan, coincided with the TV series of the same title.
In 1991 Éamon de Buitléar was awarded an Honorary Degree in Science (DSc.) by the National University of Ireland and in 1992 he was granted the UCD (University College Dublin) Lifetime Environmental Achievement Award – ?In recognition of a lifetime devoted to the achievement of the conservation and wise use of Irelands environmental endowment’.
His current projects include: ?Lost at Sea’ A documentary feature film on the Atlantic Salmon (www.atlanticsalmonlostatsea.net). He is also involved in a Government supported initiative replicating and reinstating Irelands natural wetland ecosystems that had largely been lost through land drainage.
These wetland systems are vitally important towards improving overall water management and associated biodiversity in Ireland. There is little doubt that Éamon’s de Buitléar’s success in influencing the Irish Government to adopt a conservation policy in respect of wetlands, is the result of his being so prominent in natural history filmmaking.
By Jason Peters