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Saturday 27 February 2021

Hiding in plain sight: The secret life of wildlife in Irish cities unveiled

Wild Cities reveals an urban world teeming with wildlife in the most unexpected and unusual places.

AS YOU MAKE your way to work, visit your local park or even head for a night out – Irish wildlife is all around you (it’s just not always visible).

A new documentary, Wild Cities, takes a look at some of the animals hiding in plain sight across Ireland’s cities.

The four-part series, which was filmed over three years, is set on the streets of Cork, Dublin, Galway and Belfast.

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Galway is featured in the first series and birds nesting in the ivy over the Bank of Ireland building on Eyre Square – are just one of the many examples of wildlife living around our busiest street.

The birds sleep soundly in their hidden home while Galway parties right beneath them.

The documentary also hears from a 96-year-old Galway man who describes how fishing on the River Corrib gives him a renewal of life:

“I was born on the banks of a river and we fished on the river, so I’ve been fishing since I was 7 or 8 and I’m still learning at 96.

I fish every Wednesday from 2 o’clock until 7 o’clock, I abandon my wife and children and go fishing. For me it’s like a renewal of life every time I stand on the banks of a river.


It was filmed using the most up-to-date camera technologies, nest cameras, infrared ‘night vision’ and super slow-motion.

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For the first time ever RTÉ used nest cameras to gather footage of the long-eared owls in Phoenix Park, while the latest infrared technology brings the audience into the secret world of barn owls in Galway and bats in Cork as never seen before.

The producer Cepa Giblin said, “These are clever, tenacious, opportunistic animals, like the urban fox, pigeon and the herring gull, who – love them or hate them – have found a niche in our most densely populated cities.”

Wild Cities airs on RTÉ One at 6.30pm this evening.

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