Tributes paid to conservationist
Published 28/01/2013 | 10:50
President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to renowned conservationist and film-maker Eamon de Buitlear, who has died aged 83.
The environmentalist, best known for his nature and wildlife documentaries, was remembered as a pioneering broadcaster and an outstanding figure of modern Ireland.
President Michael D Higgins said he was deeply saddened to learn of Mr de Buitlear's death.
He said several generations of Irish people are indebted to him for their knowledge and understanding of our national heritage.
"He will be remembered as an outstanding broadcaster in both languages," he said. "A great communicator, his warm and engaging personality as well as his enthusiasm and knowledge touched people of all ages. He will also be remembered as an accomplished musician."
"Eamon will be hugely missed by all those who had the good fortune to know him," he said. "I would like to extend my sympathies to his wife Lailli, their five children, their wider family and many friends."
Mr de Buitlear died at his home in Delgany, Co Wicklow.
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, described Mr de Buitlear as a pioneer.
"Eamon was a wildlife conservationist and environmentalist at a time when these concepts were in their infancy in Ireland. He introduced us all to ideas which, thanks to his vision, have now become mainstream," he said.
RTE's director general Noel Curran praised de Buitlear's ability to educate. "His expertise and passions were apparent in his work for RTE, and over the course of a long career, during which he became a household name, Eamon brought wildlife and environmentalism to the mainstream," he said.