A month after the hugely successful AOIFA Celtic Way National Flower Festival came to Ardee, the RTE Nationwide episode filmed on the Saturday of the three day event finally aired on RTE One this evening.
Fronted by Mary Kennedy, the popular magazine programme took a look around both St Marys Church of Ireland and the Our Lady’s Church of the Nativity – the two main venues for the festival, as well as Ardee Library for the Floral Art painting exhibition.
Whilst making her way around the town, Mary spoke to many of those involved in various capacities including AOIFA chairperson Candy Holten, Canon Peter Murphy, Canons Ian Jameson and Joyce Moore, Ardee Floral Art Club member Anna Keenan and local artist Padraig Lynch.
Local woman Candy explained to Mary about how the bi-annual event comes together. “It’s a bi-annual event and it’s usually held in the town that the chairperson lives or area she is interested in. I live in Ardee and there are two beautiful churches in Ardee. That’s why we chose it.
“One is a traditional church and the other is a very contemporary church so that lends itself to contemporary floral art. People are here from every county in Ireland,” she continued. They’re hear from Clonakilty, from Ennis, Sligo, Wexford, Waterford, Carlow, Tipperary, Dublin – everywhere.
“It’s not a competition, it’s non competitive. That’s what makes it even more enjoyable.”
Whilst at St Marys Church of Ireland, Kennedy stopped off to chat with Anna Keenan who explained exhibit, which was of very local interest (pictured below).
“Ardee is famous for it’s bog – The Great Bog of Ardee – one of the few remaining raised bogs in the country but The Turfman from Ardee was created and celebrated by our famous Dermot O’Brien, who is well known all over the world,” Anna said. “The exhibit is a tribute to Dermot and to the town and the surroundings.”
“The bog is much smaller than it once was. But it is part of our heritage and we would like to preserve it and keep it.”
Finally, the presenter paid a visit to Ardee Library where Padraig Lynch talked her through the fringe festival event, which showcased local and nationally recognised floral artists of a different kind.
“I like painting still life,” he said. “All of these flowers were painted in a different month – January, February, March and April. It’s been very successful and it’s something to add a little more onto the festival. It’s all good for Ardee.”
Among the exhibitors from around the country interviewed for the show were Malcom Kitt of Cobh Flower and Horticulture Club and Elizabeth Murray of Navan Floral Art Club, both of whom’s exhibits were on display in the Church of the Nativity.
To sign off at the end of the show, Mary even braved the heavy Saturday traffic in the town to say her goodbyes (below). Rather her than us!