Funeral of wildlife film-maker and former senator Éamon de Buitléar

Wednesday 30 January 2013 23.35
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Fr Dermod McCarthy paid tribute to Mr de Buitléar's enriched and enriching life
Fr Dermod McCarthy paid tribute to Mr de Buitléar's enriched and enriching life
Éamon de Buitléar died at his home in Wicklow on Sunday
Éamon de Buitléar died at his home in Wicklow on Sunday

The funeral has taken place of film-maker and conservationist Éamon de Buitléar at St Patrick's Church, Kilquade in Co Wicklow.

Mr de Buitléar, a former senator, died at his home in Delgany on Sunday night at the age of 83.

He was buried at Kilquade New Cemetery after requiem mass.

Chief mourners were his wife Lailli, and five children, Aoife, Éanna, Róisín, Cian and Doireann.

They were accompanied by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In his homily, Fr Dermod McCarthy paid tribute to what he described as Mr de Buitléar's wonderfully enriched and enriching life.

Irish society has lost a true patriot, he said, and that Éamon opened many doors into the universal beauty and wonder of God's created world.

In his films and books, he said, Mr de Buitléar almost without realising it was teaching people how to look after the country.

He said that he used his programmes and his position as a senator in the 1980s to awaken people to the continuing need to respect nature in all its facets.

President Michael D Higgins, who attended the removal yesterday with his wife, was represented by Commandant James Galvin.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny's Aide de Camp also attended the removal, as did Minister for the Arts Jimmy Deenihan.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan attended the funeral mass today.

Musicians Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Seán Keane from the Chieftains, Sean Ó Sé, Peadar Ó Riada and Paddy Glackin were at the church to pay their final respects.

Members of Cór Chúl Aodha sang at the funeral mass.

Members of Ceoltoiri Laighean were also in attendance, as was actress Geraldine Plunkett and broadcaster and producer Philip King

RTÉ Director General Noel Curran and former Director General Cathal Goan also paid their final respects as did Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú.

Sinn Féin TDs Martin Ferris and Aengus Ó Snodaigh also attended as well as former politicians Nora Owen, Mary Banotti, and Mary Hanafin and journalist and former Senator Eoghan Harris.

Mr de Buitléar was Ireland's best known independent wildlife film-maker and was also known for promoting the Irish language and traditional music.