Humans of the Biosphere
Each of our ‘Human’s’ share their passion for the biosphere in this wonderful collection produced by Derek Skehan. The exhibition is on at the LexIcon Library, Dún Laoghaire until 3rd January.
The Dog Walker
“I’m a city girl and I love my city. Part of that city is the Bull island and my family have enjoyed it for generations. Coastal cities will always have breathing space and the Bull Island is my de-stressing zen place. The peacefulness, the sound of the skylarks, the skeins of geese overhead and the friendly nods as I pass people.”
Siobhan Brennan and Caesar, her Yorkshire terrier.
“I work for BirdWatch Ireland monitoring the waterbirds using the Bay. The two schemes I do this for are the Dublin Bay Birds Project (funded by Dublin Port Company) and The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (funded by National Parks and Wildlife Service and coordinated by BirdWatch Ireland.”
"I feel so privileged to get carry out fieldwork within the Biosphere. It is never the same any two times you visit - be it new people, plants, birds (etc.) there is always something new to connect with. One of my favourite things about surveying at Bull Island is watching how the species change throughout the year, how the bird numbers rise and fall. Especially given the Irish climate is so similar all year round, I find it wonderful to be able to witness nature’s indicators of seasonal change in such a spectacular setting.”
Niamh Fitzgerald, BirdWatch Ireland
Practising the Classical Five Element Acupuncture (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) means an understanding of nature and the seasons. "Nothing gets one closer to nature & the seasons than immersing yourself in the sea"
"Sea swimming, the Bull Wall and the island has played an essential role in the mental wellbeing of hundreds of humans throughout the pandemic”.
Declan Rothwell, Acupuncturist and Sea Swimmer
What does the Dublin Biosphere mean to me? Growing up in nearby Sutton the Biosphere is a place full of memories from going to the beach as a kid with my Mam and Dad, brothers and sister. Often it was just crab fishing with friends and then exploring Red Rock as a teenager. As an adult now it is a place that I get to enjoy with my wife and two daughters.
Malcolm Scott, Bull Island Windsurfers
“We’ve been cleaning the island for two decades. One day during COVID we filled 85 bags but it’s improving now, people are more aware that this is a wildlife sanctuary & with this improvement we’re seeing the return of the hare on the island. Our main work is in the Dunne system & the salt marshes, that’s where the real life is. It’s breathing with wildlife.” “The Bull island a sanctuary for people too & with no park rangers it’s sometimes up to us to educate & inform beach goers who litter.” Phil Behan, Mick Connolly & Tom McGinn Bull Island Action Group
“I’ve been in the Guards for a number of years now, most which have been served in the ‘J District’. This seen me cover areas of Dublin City Centre to the cliffs of Howth. One of my favourite aspects of the job is the beat. I could walk for most of my 12 hour shift, stop and talk to people and love every minute of it. All while getting some important police work done, particularly high visibility patrols. An area that I adored to cover was down the Dollymount beach/nature reserve. Even on a busy day, their was always an feeling of serenity and peace. Everyone seems to be in a good mood there! People are there to exercise, catch up with friends, have a coffee or maybe just enjoy the scenery. It’s infectious. I’m a fitness enthusiast myself, so I get my steps up walking from the station to there. Bit of exercise while I work, what more could you want? I miss the characters I would have stopped to chat to down there, I’ve recently moved to the new Garda Station in Dublin Airport. Which has a whole new environment to explore.“
Jay O’Neill Garda.
“I’m lucky enough to work in the nicest café in Dublin with the best crew & the best view! To get up in the morning & “hit the beach” for work is amazing. My closest interaction with nature on the Bull Island is with the starlings. They are like our pet budgies & will take food from our hands. Zoe Duff Barista & University Student
“I think every photographer is attracted to the Bull Island, the contrast of beach & dunes with this amazing & every changing light is like a magnet for good visuals. I’m here for the landscapes & the skyscapes. No matter what season it is there’s always drama.” Jon Lambert Photographer"
“Sometimes I feel like the luckiest worker in the council, that’s usually in the summer! I get to see it all here, the good & the bad, but most of it is good. My best interactions are in the early hours of the morning with the rabbits & the foxes. I like most of the humans too.” Graham Joyce Dublin City Council
I’m a third generation Islander here on the Bull Island. My grandfather was the harbour dredger supervisor, that’s how we ended up here. The Island is home to me.
David Barton. Bull Island Resident
“I’m a healthcare worker from Madrid in Spain. On my cycle to Howth from Clondalkin I make my way to the Bull Island to breath in the peace & tranquillity”. It’s fascinating to leave the road with the noise of the wind, traffic, the bike & stop off in almost complete silence... Nothing but the birdsong. It’s amazing it’s this close to the cite centre”
Javeir de la Fuente, Healthcare worker & cyclist.
The Wing Foiler
“I was born in Essaouira which is located in what is now the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve, Morocco. Now, my office is the Bull Island, in the heart of the Dublin Bay Biosphere where I work as a kite & wing instructor with Pure Magic. For me the Bull Island is a playground with a community of amazing water sports people in an amazing setting. My closest contact with nature are the curious seals that accompany me during the day”. Winging combines elements of windsurfing, kite-surfing, surfing, and foiling. You ride on a board with a hydrofoil attached underneath while holding a handheld inflatable sail, known as a “wing”.
Aziz Lumiere, Waterman
Sea Scout Leader
“There has been a continuous Sea Scout presence on Bull Island since 1912. During that time, literally hundreds of members ranging in age from 6 to 18 years, have taken part in the scouting programme where they develop a wide range of practical skills such as sailing, rowing, boat handling and much more while learning to appreciate the natural amenity that is Bull Island.”
The Sea Scout
"I feel privileged to grow up in the Biosphere, I learned to row, sail and canoe in the lagoon on the Bull Wall. I’m here at least three times a week for various activities. I feel close to the nature of the Biosphere when the gaggles of geese fly overhead when I’m on the water."
The Soldier and Daughter
'The peace of the Bull Wall with my daughter is a comparison to a day of soldiering. It's magic time'.
Mark and Amari Keegan from Fairview
'The Bull Wall has to be the most unique space I'm lucky to call my training ground'.
Andrew Keane, football player for Raheny Gaa senior team
"We’re coastal people, we’ve always used Bull Island and St. Annes Park, but Covid was when it really kicked in. We swam, ran, walked & cycled. The island is a huge part of our life."
Gareth, Gareth Junior & James Molloy.
“I love the sound of the sea booming on the shore, seeing the rabbits and the foxes, although it means winter is coming I enjoy the return of the Brent geese”.
Frances McGreal, Golfer
"When we are kiting alongside the birds of the biosphere we feel like we are part of nature."
The Hanley Brothers, Daire and Tadhg, two of many surf “groms” at the dedicated kite launch zone on Dollymount strand.