“You almost feel guilty filming in Fiona’s world in case it encourages people to visit and spoil it all!”

Ronan Tynan Producer/Director

Fiona – Defender of the Seals

DEFENDER OF THE SEALS
(1999)
Duration: 46:17 minutes

A remarkable story about how one woman touched the seals through her music in one of the most beautiful, wild and unspoilt parts of Islay, an island off the west coast of Scotland.

Playing the violin on the shore one day, facing south towards the Mull of Kintyre, Fiona Middleton heard a muffled kind of snorting sound. Startled she saw a number of seals bobbing in the water obviously drawn to her music. From that moment her life with these beautiful aquatic mammals began.

The documentary shows how Fiona now cares for abandoned seals during the breeding season, turning her home into a virtual seal clinic. When we filmed at her remote island home, in the shadow of the ruins of Kildalton Castle, Fiona had three young seals in her constant care with her three daughters.

Fiona a talented musician and composer who played at London’s Palladium had turned her back on a music career and moved to the remote Hebridean island of Islay with her husband George. From the moment Fiona set foot on Islay she felt a spiritual connection with the place, one that became quite extraordinary, as this film shows, as her relationship with the seals developed.

When the seal virus struck Northern Europe she felt compelled to go public and released her first CD to raise money and to draw attention to the plight of her friends the seals which were literally dying all around her.

Fiona’s home is dominated by the Fairy Hill, a reminder that this very special place is steeped in mythology and legend, and having lost two expensive cameras filming there we became very respectful of this very special, legendary and – without exaggeration – mysterious location.