President leads tributes to environmentalist Dick Warner

Award-winning broadcaster died after falling ill on boat on the River Shannon on Friday

Environmentalist and broadcaster  Dick Warner   at home in Gilltown Donadea, Co Kildare. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Environmentalist and broadcaster Dick Warner at home in Gilltown Donadea, Co Kildare. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to the environmentalist and award winning broadcaster Dick Warner who died yesterday.

Mr Warner was perhaps best known for his television series Waterways. He was also a columnist for the Irish Examiner.

It is understood he became ill on a boat on the River Shannon near Ballinasloe, Co Galway on Friday.

Mr Higgins said Mr Warner was a dedicated environmentalist and a “wonderful filmmaker, and his beautiful work on the canals of Ireland was outstanding”.

“Only last month, at an event celebrating the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Royal Canal, I referred to his dedication and skill in describing the rich heritage of our inland waterways.”

Tributes appeared on Twitter in the aftermath of the announcement, where he was described as “Ireland’s greatest waterman” and his programmes were fondly recalled.

While his career spanned four decades, Mr Warner’s Waterways programmes were particularly popular.

“Our journey along [the Royal Canal], although it was eventful at times, was filled with amazing discoveries,” he said of the programme.

“I was so taken by it that when the filming ended I immediately repeated the journey in another boat.”

The production company Tile Films credited Mr Warner with over 90 television documentaries.

“As well as writing and presenting the original 24 programmes of Waterways (which won the Jacob’s Award) he wrote and presented 18 Voyage programmes about Ireland’s coastal waters,” it said in a biography, listing numerous other projects.

His non-broadcast work, it said, included projects for the Central Fisheries Board, the Loughs Agency, the Office of Public Works, the National Botanic Gardens and Tourism Ireland.