Thursday 18 January 2018

Joe Barry: Wildlife pioneer broke new ground on our TV screens

THE news of Eamon De Buitlear's passing has saddened all who knew him and especially those of us who fondly recall his pioneering work in conservation and in filming wildlife. It is almost 50 years since I first met Eamon while he was working behind the counter in Healy's game and fishing shop in Dame St. At the time, I was purchasing some fishing tackle and recall making some smart remark about the use of the Irish language which Eamon would always tend to slip in to general conversation.

Rather than reprimand me, he quietly and persuasively reminded me of the huge importance of valuing our culture and our history and the need to keep our native language alive.

It was a lesson I never forgot. To be able to change a teenager's attitude and to do so gently with a few words was typical of the man, but then Eamon was a gentleman in the best sense of that word.

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