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Éamon de Buitléar: 1930-2013
28 Jan 2013 :
Éamon de Buitléar was one of Ireland's first independent filmmakers
Irish filmmaker Éamon de Buitléar passed away at his home in Wicklow last night.

The 83 year-old writer and director specialised in wildlife documentaries, and was once Ireland’s only independent filmmaker.

In a career that spanned over four decades, de Buitléar made documentaries for RTÉ, BBC and ITV. His film ‘Amuigh Faoin Spéir’, which he made with Dutch artist and long-time collaborator Gerrit Van Gelderen, received critical acclaim for raising awareness to the Irish environment.

In 1986 his film ‘Cois Farraige leis an Madra Uisce’ earned him a Jacob’s Award, while in recent times his 2003 documentary ‘Islandman: The Story of the Last Trading Skipper of a Galway Hooker’ earned him an IFTA nomination, and he also contributed to the 10-time IFTA-nominated film ‘Man About Dog’ (2004).

De Buitléar was also a supporter of the Irish language and traditional music, and was a founding member of the 1960s group Ceoltóirí Chualann with Seán Ó’Riada.

In 1987 he was appointed to Seanad Éireann, in recognition of his work on environmental issues.

In November 2012, he donated his entire archive of film, music and writings to the National University of Ireland in Galway.

Today, Wicklow TD Simon Harris said he was saddened by the death of “national treasure” de Buitléar.

RTÉ director-general Noel Curran said: "His expertise and passions were apparent in his work for RTÉ, and over the course of a long career, during which he became a household name, Éamon brought wildlife and environmentalism to the mainstream. Programmes like 'Amuigh Faoin Spéir', Ireland’s very first wildlife series, had a profound influence on attitudes to our environment."


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