The Learning Theatres at GLAS

in association with

Supported by Bord Bia & Teagasc, the Learning Theatres are a key feature at GLAS and provide a host of informative talks and workshops. Talks are free to attend and qualify for IASIS points.

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?


Learning Theatre 1: Bord Bia

Bord Bia’s Value of the Garden Market 2018 Report

Grace Binchy, Consumer Insights Specliaist

Bord Bia has engaged Ipsos MRBI to track consumer activity and spend in the amenity market every two years since 2001. The objective of the survey is to provide Bord Bia with a tool to measure and track consumer spend, channel of purchase and motivation for purchase across a range of amenity products.  Come and find out what’s selling, trending and who is buying what in this insightful session.

Packaging & Plastics – Recyclable, Recycled, Compostable? That is the Question…

Brian Walsh, Packaging Technologist at REPAK

All that and more about packaging optimisation and waste prevention initiatives will be covered in this session. Brian Walsh has in excess of sixteen years’ experience in quality and packaging development roles in Britvic Ireland, Punch Industries and Westrock Healthcare Packaging Ltd. He is responsible for the management and implementation of the Packaging Waste Prevention programme. He also advises manufacturers and retailers on Packaging Optimisation and Packaging Waste Prevention initiatives, both in-house and on-site.

New Product New Plant Awards & Best in Show Presentations

The best new plants and new products will be awarded by a panel of expert judges. The judges will also announce the Best in Show award winners.

Change and Opportunity in Amenity Horticulture

Tim Healy, Mercator Marketing Research

Tim Healy has just completed phase one of a study on the value of the commercial amenity market and buyer’s behaviour on behalf of Bord Bia, and will deliver an overview of the findings in a fascinating session.

Tim has worked in marketing research for over 30 years and is a graduate member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland.  He formed Mercator Marketing Research in 1996 and since then has worked with a wide range of national and multi-national clients including many for Bord Bia. His particular interest is in using qualitative techniques to determine and explore customer behaviour in every area from fast-moving consumer goods to specialised business services. 

Big Data, What is it? And how can you use data to improve your business prospects?

Dr. Christina O’Connor (LLB, MSc., PhD), Maynooth University


Dr. Christina O’Connor (LLB, MSc., PhD) is a Lecturer in Marketing and Director of the BBS Entrepreneurship programme at the School of Business at Maynooth University, Kildare, Ireland.

Christina’s core research area is focused on marketing intelligence data (Big Data) within a small business context. Learn how to utilise the data available, and what it can mean to your business. 
Christina has over 10 years of extensive experience analysing data sets and working with small agri-food businesses, governmental and industry bodies in the interpretation and analysis of data both in Ireland and the UK through dunnhumby. Her research has been published in the Harvard Business Review blogs, as well as journals such as the International Small Business Journal, Journal of Knowledge Management and Marketing Intelligence and Planning.

BEE-ing Pollinator Friendly on your production site

Peter Cuthbert

Peter attended Pershore College of Horticulture in the UK, furthering his extensive knowledge of plants and their usage in sustainable design. Some of his most recent projects include biodiversity planting at Hebron, Kilkenny and the Greening Project in Finglas Village.

The Question of Plastic – a hot topic of our time

Diana Geraghty

Recyclable, Reclycled or Compostable ?
Diana leads the sustainability and CSR work for Bunzl Ireland (part of Bunzl plc, a FTSE 100 company). Her goal is to drive sustainable change and help Bunzl and our customers be a force for good. She works directly with customers, large and small, to provide information on sustainable packaging solutions, innovation and trends, and advice on how businesses can close the loop, communicate to their customers and drive sustainability within their organisation. Diana is a former Bord Bia Origin Green Ambassador and has a background in sustainability in the food industry, having worked on projects for blue chip companies like Coca-Cola and Mars Chocolate as well as leading the sustainability programme across EMEA for Google’s award winning Food at Google programme.

Consumer Lifestyle Trends 2019: Responsible Living

Grace Binchy, Consumer Insights Specialist

Grace will take you through what is driving this trend- the key forces that are influencing it and how this is manifesting itself in terms of what consumers are looking for from products and brands.


Learning Theatre 2: Teagasc

Registration of IASIS Points

Sheila Macken, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)

Sheila was a self-employment agricultural consultant before her current job, where she is now an agricultural inspector at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

Perfect Timing, Perfect Growth

Andrew Wilson, Technical ManagerICL

This year Andrew Wilson will be discussing the importance of timing when thinking about nutrient application. From choosing the correct controlled release fertiliser to go in to your growing media, with the right selected release pattern to match plant demand, to the use of water soluble fertilisers and why it is so important to know your water type. This in depth presentation will provide growers with a snapshot of the nutrition tools they require to produce better quality plants throughout the growing season.

What is Soil? Applying the basics of Soil Science to productive landscaping and gardening projects

Dr. Brian Murphy, BSc, PhD, Senior Scientist, Enrich Environmental

Brian Murphy digs deep into this important natural resource and covers a range of topics:
-What do soils do?
-Key physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil, these are interlinked
-Optimising these characteristics to improve soils performance
-Basic Soil assessments and testing
-Managing soils, improving soils, designing soils for Landscaping and Gardening
-Enrich Soils Services and products – Fusing theory and practice to support customers. 
-Specialist soil applications: e.g Sustainable urban drainage , Swales, Urban Tree planting and green roofs.

Education pathways and CPD

John Mulhern, Principle of Horticulture, Teagasc & a selection of student graduates

John attended University College Dublin and is now the principal of College of Amenity Horticulture, Teagasc


When it comes to horticultural education, Teagasc is in the business of providing recognised qualifications to those looking to get involved in the sector. We are the proud sponsors of the Careers Hub at this year’s GLAS showcase. The Hub, which is the first of its kind, will host talks and offer useful information on the various possibilities for those in the horticulture industry. Join us at this special talk at 12pm to hear from ourselves and some of our graduates about the areas that are proving to be popular, as well as the three level 5 programmes we are offering as part of our college’s summer programme this year.

New Pests, New Control Strategies

Neil Helyer, Fargo

Neil Helyer is an Integrated Pest Management specialist with Fargro Limited and is well known throughout the ornamentals industry in Ireland and the UK for delivering sound, technically-based advice on the use of chemical and non-chemical pest and disease controls.

This year Neil will be talking about the emergence of new pests and new control methods to tackle them.

Biosecurity in Irrigation Water

Paul Walsh, Huwa-San

Paul Walsh is the Sales & Business Development Manager for Roam Technology.  Roam technology are the owners & Manufacturers of the market leading Huwa-San stabilised hydrogen peroxide.

Huwasan is an effective and sustainable disinfection solution for various applications such as horticulture, livestock, healthcare and more. Paul will be speaking about the importance of treating your irrigation water to prevent disease outbreak and create a sterile environment in your nursery.

Weed Control – best practice guidelines for control and budget

Donall Flanagan, Teagasc

Donall has been at Teagasc for 12 years where he was once a Horticulture lecturer but now is the Nursery Stock and Ornamentals Specialised Advisor. He has been teaching a wide range of horticulture subjects for more than 15 years.

IPM Challenges for the Sportsturf Sector

Colm Dockrell, Assistant principle at College of Amenity Horticulture, Teagasc

Teagasc is involved in many parts of the IPM area including research into disease and pest control, cultural methods of control and farmer attitudes.

Plant Passports

Shane Kirk, Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM)

Oliver McEvoy from the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) will give information about new plant health regulations and the new EU wide common Plant Passport format.