Eoghan Daltun

Posted by Sue Leonard on Friday 24th February 2023

As a child, Eoghan spent a lot of time outside, mucking about.

            “We played a on bits of wasteland,” he says.

Leaving school, Eoghan moved to London and learned various practical crafts like welding. And over the next few years he worked in various jobs.

            “I was a bicycle courier in Dublin for several years,” he says, “and I lived abroad, teaching English as a Foreign Language – TEFL – in Paris and Prague.”

Back in Dublin, he rebuilt a ruined cottage in Kilmainham, before moving, with his family, to a 73-acre farm on the Beara Peninsula. He has spent the time since rewilding the farm, creating a rainforest – while conserving and restoring sculpture around Ireland – a skill he learned in Italy.

            “I’d been thinking of writing a book that conveyed some of what I’d learned and experienced for a while, but I wasn’t interested in writing a straightforward nature book. In 2019 I decided the best way was to make it part memoir – and use the personal as a vehicle for talking about ecology. I wrote it during lockdown.”

Eoghan won the Lifestyle Book of the Year category at the An Post Irish Book Awards 2022.

Who is Eoghan Daltun?

Date of birth: 1967 in London but moved to Dublin at five.

Education: The High School Rathgar, then Rathmines Senior College.

Home: Beara Peninsular, West Cork.

Family: Two sons, Liam 17 and Sean, 15. Collie dog Charlie, and 6 Dexter cows.  

The Day Job: Restoring and conserving sculpture. “And I practice high nature value farming”.

In Another Life: “I’d work as a conservation biologist in a part of world where eco systems are more intact.”  

Favourite Writers: Edward O. Wilson; Robert McFarland; George Monbiot; Jeremy Lent; Kate Raworth; Caroline Fraser.

Second Book: “I don’t know if there will be one.”

Top Tip: “Get everything down, then go back over it. I finished a draft within 6 weeks and spent three years reworking it.”

Twitter @IrishRainforest.

The Debut: An Irish Atlantic Rainforest. Hachette Books Ireland: €18.99. Kindle: €11.34.

This timely, highly readable account of the rewilding of a farm, and the creation of a rainforest is essential reading for anyone who cares about our planet.

The Verdict: Utterly inspiring. Daltun’s passion comes shining through.

Published in the Irish Examiner on 31st December.

© Sue J Leonard. 2022.


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