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Brid Coonan

Brid set for a bloomin’ great performance

An Ennis floral art teacher will be the envy of flower arrangers throughout the country when she presents a demonstration before 30,000 people at the World Flower Show in two weeks’ time.
Following her selection as one of the nine Irish demonstrators at the world show, entitled “A Floral Odyssey”, Brid Coonan will showcasing her floral talent, design and creativity with over 600 floral artists from 32 countries in the RDS Dublin from June 19 to 22.
Regarded as the Olympics of Floral Art and Flower Arranging, there is an extremely high international standard, with very strict judging criteria at this spectacular show, which takes place every three years.
Mary McKee from Feakle, who is a member of Ennis Flower and Garden Club will be competing at the World Show under the title of “The Twilight of Earth”.
Brid Coonan says it is a great honour and privilege to be chairperson of The Association of Irish Floral Artists” (AOIFA) during this historic event, as this is the first and only time their association will host the world show.
“It is a great honour and a once in a life time opportunity to be asked to demonstrate at the World Flower Show to such a prestigious audience and to share with them my love and passion for nature and the majestic Shannon,” she explains.
AOIFA is affiliated to the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA), of which there are 32 member countries. Several years ago, AOIFA put in a bid to host the 11th World Flower Show in Ireland and it was with great pride that this bid was won by a landslide result.
Previous host countries include, USA, Japan, Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, Belgium, France and Canada.
A varied and interesting programme of competitions, demonstrations, lectures, garden visits and social events are planned for this four-day extravaganza at the RDS. Brid believes this is an event, which should not to be missed.
Brid’s interest in flowers started when she moved to Ennis over 20 years ago and attended flower arranging night classes.
As a native of Carrig outside Borrisokane in North Tipperary, the obvious choice for Brid was “Where the Shannon Flows”. She lived most of her life near the beautiful River Shannon and the shores of Lough Derg, where she has many happy childhood memories.
During the demonstration, Brid will talk about the different attributes and features of the Shannon of which she says there are many, from its amazing history, to its magnificent diverse landscape, its haven of wildlife and many sports activities.
Brid has spent significant time preparing for her demonstration, choosing containers, stands and plant material to portray the Shannon. Without giving too much away, she says she is going with ‘a boat theme’ and while she would love to use wild flowers and material from the hedgerows, unfortunately this plant material may not last and therefore Brid will be using plant material that would happily grow in any Irish garden.
There are 88 Flower and Garden Clubs throughout Ireland. All clubs are affiliated to the national organisation – (AOIFA) whose motto is “Friendship through Flowers”.

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