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Unmissable: GLAS Learning Theatres

Dr Clare Sampson during her presentation on 'Smart, Safe, and Sustainable Pest Control' at GLAS 2017. Photo: Joe Keogh.

With presentations provided by industry leading professionals covering a broad range of topics specific to the horticulture trade industry, can you afford to miss it?



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18 July 2018

The newly-expanded GLAS Learning Theatres at GLAS 2018 are proudly supported by Bord Bia and Teagasc this year.

Successful professionals sharing the same market and business model as you will provide their key insights and advice on how you can grow and develop your business.

It still isn’t too late to register your interest for one of the presentations. Check out the Learning Theatre’s page on the GLAS website to register your attendance.

Check out the presenters below:

Bord Bia Learning Theatre 1

Úna Delahunt — Cancer Prevention Advisor, Irish Cancer Society:  “Irish Cancer Society’s SunSmart Campaign for Outdoor Workers”

Time: 10:30 –10:50 & 13.40 – 14.00

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland with over 11,000 new cases diagnosed each year. But it is one of the most preventable. Outdoor workers are at increased risk of the disease with 1 in 4 skin cancer deaths occurring in the construction and farming sector. The Irish Cancer Society aims to raise awareness among all outdoor workers to ensure they follow the SunSmart Code and take adequate measures to reduce their risk of skin cancer.

Úna has an honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science and a Masters in Physical Activity and Public Health.

Claire Woods — Chartered Institute of Horticulture — Professionalism in Horticulture for the 21st Century

Time: 11:00-11:40 

Dan Cooper — Seasonal Buyer at John Lewis — “Being Mr Christmas”

Time: 12:00 – 12:20 & 14:40 – 15:00 

The seasonal buyer at John Lewis talks about what it’s like working on Christmas all year, finding time to blog about his love of gardening and how he comes up with new ideas.

Dan Cooper’s knowledge, expertise and passion for Christmas is unrivalled. In the twenty plus years that he has worked at John Lewis Dan has seen the nation’s decorations, trees and lights transform and evolve in shape, size and colour.

As the retailer’s Head of Christmas Buying, Dan travels to all points of the compass from China and India to the Netherlands, Czech Republic and UK to source unique products, meet talented suppliers and devise new services and concepts that will add that extra sparkle and joy to Christmas.

As well as buying, Dan coordinates John Lewis’ wider approach to the festive season, bringing together product, visual merchandising, point of sale, customer experience and online channels to deliver one of the most powerful and creative Christmas campaigns in retail. On Dan’s watch, no two seasons are ever the same and 2018 will be no exception!

Andy McIndoe — “Inspiring the Customer… What makes a customer buy a plant?”

Time: 12:00-12:45 & 14:15-15:00

What makes the customer buy a plant? Whether it’s the retailer or gardener what makes a plant an attractive proposition?

Andy McIndoe has over 40 years of experience in retail and production horticulture, many of them as Managing Director of Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres, Hampshire, U.K.

A regular contributor to a number of magazines, blogs and BBC Radio he lectures to gardening groups and societies at home and abroad, leads gardening tours and is consultant to well-known suppliers in the garden industry. He has been responsible for 25 consecutive Gold Medal winning exhibits at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Andy works freelance enabling him to have more contact with the real gardening world. Both he and his wife are gardeners, designing and advising on gardens of all sizes. They welcome groups to their 2 acre naturalistic garden, Sandhill Farm, Hampshire by appointment during the summer months.

Andy’s special interests include hardy shrubs, trees, herbaceous perennials, flower bulbs and garden design and he has authored books on all of these subjects. His most recent book, The Creative Shrub Garden is published by Timber Press in the UK and US.

Andy was awarded the prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal (one of the highest accolades in the world of horticulture) by the Royal Horticultural Society on 22nd February 2017 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the science and practice of horticulture.

Patricia Tyrell — GLDA — “Changing trends in planting design – where to from here?”

Time: 12:50 – 13.10

Having initially studied Landscape Horticulture, also at UCD, Patricia launched her own Design Consultancy Business in 84, and has completed many assignments in the Commercial and Residential sectors. As a qualified Landscape Horticulturist, Patricia believes strongly that good landscape design should be underpinned with good planting design, and offers a specialist service in Planting Design to clients with existing gardens in need of renewal and to other design professionals.

Grace Binchy — Bord Bia — Update on Trends from the Bord Bia Thinking House

Time: 13:15 – 13.35

Grace works as an Insight and Innovation specialist with Bord Bia. Grace’s role in Bord Bia involves working with food and drinks companies from start ups to more well established companies, working with them to understand the importance of the consumer and how best to develop their brand for the marketplace.

Teagasc Learning Theatre 2

John Mulhearn — Teagasc — “Update on Horticulture Apprenticeships by Teagasc”

Time: 13:15 – 13.35

Apprenticeships in Horticulture are being developed jointly with the industry and Teagasc with a view to rollout in September 2019. Labour shortages must be addressed in a structured way and Teagasc believes that the apprenticeship model is a proven learning platform to deliver this. John will outline progress to date in the two models that are being worked upon in this area.

John Mulhern is the Currently College Principal in the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture in Botanic Gardens Dublin. Graduated UCD with a degree in Ag Science in 1992 , completed Post Grad Diploma in Farm Financial Management in 2002 from WIT and a Post Grad diploma in Leadership development in 2014 from IMI.

Having started with Teagasc advisory in Monaghan in 1994 he moved to Clonakilty Ag College Cork in 1996 as a teacher and became Assistant Principal in 2005 and College Principal in 2008. John moved to College Principal post in Botanics in 2011. The Teagasc College in Botanics currently runs programmes in Horticulture at Level 5 , 6 and 7 for up to 230 students at the Glasnevin base and the Teagasc Ashtown research campus. In 2016 John Mulhern piloted an Agricultural Green cert in Grange with help of 4 Temporary education staff  which delivers training to 180 students both Part Time and Distance Education.

Donall Flanagan — Teagasc — “Water Wise – best practice guidelines for irrigation and budgeting”

Time: 11:35 – 11:55 

Donall will discuss the issues that affect the industry, including updates from EPA on water abstraction.Donall Flanagan is the Nursery Stock and Ornamentals specialised advisor for Teagasc. He has been teaching a wide range of horticultural subjects for more than 15 years.

While working with Teagasc in Kildalton College he was involved in delivering Nursery stock production and propagation modules. He has gained practical hands on experience from Kildalton nursery which has been using IPM protocols for over 10 years.

Donall has worked in protected ornamentals and landscaping in Ireland, Germany and Hungary. He completed a degree in Ag. Science (Commercial Hort) in UCD and completed a masters there also investigating the phytopathogen status of native Irish apple trees.

Neil Helyer — NAD/Fargro — “Safe, smart, and sustainable pest control”

Time: 12:00 – 12:20

Introduction to the main pest species of commercial note in Irish horticultural crops primarily nursery, bedding and pot plant focus.

Pest and Beneficials Identification and notes on life cycles of key pests in Ireland:
Whitefly | Aphids | Red spider Mite | Thrips | Sciarids | Vine weevil

Andrew Wilson — ICL — “Precision Nutrition, Optimising the nutrient supply to match plant demand , producing healthier plants and reducing disease losses”

Time: 12.25 – 12:45


Seán McCarthy — Director McCarthy O’Connor Training and Consultancy Limited — “Therapeutic Horticulture….Stress Management and Well-Being for Success in Business”

Time: 12.50 – 13.10

Seán McCarthy is a Director of McCarthy O’Connor Training and Consultancy Limited. Having worked within mental health services both in Ireland and England for over 35 years he brings a huge range of experiences to bear in his role within the company. He will focus during his brief presentation on how we can identify and deal with stress and mind our mental health in a manner that helps us to drive and build our business as well as supporting ourselves and our employees. The World Health Organisation tell us that by 2025 depression will be the leading illness in the world therefore impacting hugely on the workplace. Let’s start looking at what we can do to lessen its impact on our businesses.

Con Collis — Department of Agriculture — “Plant Health Awareness and Emerging Threats”

Time: 14.15 – 14:35

In addition to working as a Plant Health Inspector, Con is responsible for dealing with trade in plants and plant product entering Ireland directly from outside the EU as well as export certification of plants and plant product destined for third countries. His role also includes plant health awareness raising and involvement in developing Ireland’s New Plant Health Strategy. In addition to raising awareness regarding current plant health issues Con will also provide the latest information on emerging plant health risks.

Peter Cuthbert — “All Ireland Pollinators Plan, a Roadmap for Plant Sales”

Time: 14:40 – 15:00

Peter’s presentation will provide information on plants favoured by pollinators from observations over a number of years.

A horticulturist with extensive knowledge of plants and their usage in sustainable design. Having worked for 35 years in Dublin County Council/Fingal County Council in Parks Department with a specific role in open space planning , Peter has excellent insights into the environmental elements required for planning.

Recent projects include:

  • Bio-diversity planting at Hebron, Kilkenny.
  • Greening project in Finglas Village designed for longevity of flowering and to attract butterflies and bumble bees.
  • Europe in Bloom Garden at Cabinteely Park, celebrating Irelands EU Presidency.

Dr John Dempsey — Royal Curragh Golf Course — “Turfgrass Disease – Alternative Means of Suppression”

Time: 15:15 – 15:35

Again, be sure to check out the Learning Theatre’s page on the GLAS website to register your attendance for these unmissable presentations from industry leaders.

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