Gearóid Ó Muilleoir, pen name Dúlra, is a wildlife buff who was brought up on the slopes of Belfast’s Black Mountain where he spent almost every waking moment hillwalking, birdwatching and fishing.
He’s witnessed massive changes in the local environment, with fields disappearing and nature retreating. “When I was young we had corncrakes breeding in the heart of west Belfast and a barn owl used to swoop down over the street as we played in the evening," he says.
“All that’s gone - but the one thing that has given me heart is the rewilding movement. Nature just needs to be given the space to do its thing without human interference and it can return from the brink.”
Gearóid has spent a lifetime in journalism, working with all the main newspapers here and he’s now production editor of the Sunday World. Outside of the environment, his other passion is the Irish language and he’s a regular on award-winning Belfast station Raidió Failte.
THE under-threat swift has found a friend in the Irish language.
TAKE all the pastimes in all the world and fishing trumps them all.
THIS week's Dúlra comes with a couple of fantastic images – and a remarkable story to end with.
NO filters have been used to enhance these pictures, they are exactly as you see them and they left Dúlra standing in stunned silence.
MARK Smyth’s a bit down this week – and it’s understandable. The last of his swifts disappeared from his house after just three months here. “They’re probably over the Congo by now,” he said.
BEEKEEPERS say that when you’re moving your beehive you should either move it three feet or three miles. Otherwise the bees will abandon it.
IT'S something that you wouldn’t expect climate and environmental activists to be doing – ripping up young trees. But that’s exactly what these ‘masked’ warriors were doing in Leitrim this week. They’ve had enough of asking the government to do the right thing. As Greta Thurnberg would say, it’s time for action.
IT’S a miracle of sorts – and it took place this week in Dúlra’s own garden.
ENDLESS days of continuous rain don’t do much for our mood, but what’s that they say about every cloud?
MOST farmers love their swallows – they’re like a lucky charm to them. These summer visitors must be our most beautiful bird, with their shiny blue backs, red bib and pointed tails. They are our very own bird of paradise and there’s not many nicer sights than one flying over an old traditional farmhouse.
DÚLRA thinks of the new Glas-na-Bradan wood as his own. Because among the 150,000 trees planted there, one of them is his – a Black Mountain holly sapling transported all the way over to the other side of the Belfast Hills where it has found the perfect home.
SCOTLAND is showing Ireland the way when it comes to nature.
WHEN Tom Doyle walks through the fields of Colin Mountain, he’s as much a part of it as the rabbits and the butterflies and the birds.
THE return of the woodpecker to its rightful place in Irish forests is complete. Here it is this week in a Poleglass garden – a young bird on a feeder eating sunflower hearts.
WE are an arrogant lot, us humans. When we as a race learn something new – like evolution or how the earth is round – we seem to pretend we always knew it.