The Minister of State with responsibility for Horticulture in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, today visited O’Connor’s Nurseries in Barnland, Gorey, Co Wexford. This family run business was established in 1967 and is amongst the biggest producers of protected nursery stock in Ireland. Jim O’Connor highlighted their wide selection of winter stock, such as poinsettia and cyclamen, and the nursery produces approximately 55,000 poinsettias every year for the Irish market.
It takes more than six months of dedication and hard work to prepare these fantastic plants, so that they are at their most glorious for sale just in time for Christmas. The Minister commented, “I am in awe of the sheer number and beauty of the plants here – cyclamen, poinsettia, primroses and various other bedding plants. The high level of expertise needed to produce them is clear, and I commend all our growers who produce such high-quality produce.’’
An important funding mechanism that has allowed amenity horticulture producers, such as the O’Connor’s nursery, to expand and remain profitable is through investments that have been aided under the Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Horticulture. This is a grant aid scheme for horticulture enterprises, and is operated through my Department.
The visit to this nursery also coincides with the launching of a new Bord Bia campaign highlighting the importance of gardening and growing plants at all times of the year, and in particular at this time of the year.
Minister Hackett finished her visit to O’Connor’s by remarking, “The array of colours on show here today are astounding. This year, more than ever, we have realised the joy and happiness that can come from growing your own plants – not just in the summer months but all year round – and this can be an important part of maintaining our health and wellbeing. I urge anyone buying plants at any time of year to seek out and buy Irish grown plants, and support the amenity horticulture sector within Ireland.”