Quill To Power - The Peregrine's of Poolbeg

Independent Event
Monday, July 17, 2017
RTE 2 @ 23:50

A short film about the peregrines of Poolbeg - Well worth watcching

The documentary that first brought to public attention the pair of peregrine falcons living on the Poolbeg chimneys is to be shown on RTE 2 on Monday night.

Quill To Power explores the relationship between the endangered birds and the disused smokestacks that define the Dublin skyline.

The breeding pair of rare falcons on the city's iconic chimneys remain unknown to many Dubliners, but now the national broadcaster is to show the film in its Shortscreen slot.

The Poolbeg chimneys themselves appeared to be endangered when the ESB questioned the cost of their upkeep, but after much clamour Ireland's national power company has agreed to preserve the fifty-year-old structures.

After a comeback from the brink of extinction, peregrine falcons - the fastest creatures on earth, reaching speeds of up to 320kph during their hunting dive or 'stoop' - remain on the critically endangered list, affording them the highest level of legal protection.

"One of the things that I love about this particular pair of peregrines is that they're in the city, they're close to where I live," raptor aficionado Eamonn Ryan says as he opens the film. Despite having a similar name to a Green Party TD, Eamonn is not involved in politics. He drives down to the Shellybanks to check in on the birds several times a week with his spotter scope. "Normally you have to go to places that are inaccessible or hard to get to, then you might see the birds or you might not."

Directed by journalist Alan Caulfield, Quill To Power talks to locals and to the bird enthusiasts who have become the unofficial guardians of the falcons - the fastest animals on the planet - while also inadvertently keeping an eye on the chimneys.

The eight-minute doc has been shown at the 2015 Sky Road Film Festival in Clifden; the Dublin International Short Film and Music Festival; and the Clones Film Festival. Using stunning footage of falcons and of the Dublin's beloved red-and-white striped chimneys, Quill To Power asks what should be done with the chimneys now the power station is shut, and how Dubliners would feel if they, or the falcons, were gone.