The Association of Irish Floral Artists (AOIFA), which was founded in 1973, is the official organisation of affiliated Floral Art Groups and Flower and Garden Clubs in Ireland.

Chairperson's Newsletter

I hope you are all keeping well and coping with this lockdown which is more demanding than the previous ones. As we search for the ability to adapt to some form of normality we depend on our resilience to get us through. Our way of living has been completely turned on its head. Even a visit to the supermarket is like a military operation as we duck and dodge through the aisles, disguised in masks.

Modern technology has been a blessing. It has allowed us to run the association virtually and enabled us to keep in touch with our Teachers and Demonstrators who provided much needed entertainment and instruction. Part of the Judges’ course is being facilitated via Zoom also. It enables us to reach out to our nearest and dearest in the four corners of the globe or just down the road. It is so uplifting to get that unexpected phone call from someone you haven’t met in a long time. You might think of reaching out and giving someone a call!

As I write this letter, I am conscious that it is my last as Chairperson. Christine will be taking over on 20th March. It has been an honour and privilege to have served in that role for three years. The past year has been challenging but there behind me was my wonderful team, who worked together tirelessly with great enthusiasm and commitment as always. The committees too rose to the challenge and all played their part in keeping the show on the road. All of your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Our gardens are a great distraction and source of enjoyment – changing tapestries before our eyes as we see the fruits of our autumn planting emerging gradually – pretty daffodils, delicate snowdrops and budding tulips.

The camaraderie is something we all miss, as AOIFA is the epitome of one big happy family, which reaches out and supports its members. I discovered this first hand myself when you all embraced and supported me in my time of great sadness in 2019. For this I am truly thankful.

I am looking forward to the day when I can take out the glad rags, put on the lipstick and meet with you all again – having been to the hairdresser first of course!

As we take to the gardens let’s remain hopeful while we look forward to the vaccine and the brighter days ahead.

“Lift up your head, to the sun’s warming rays,

Rejoice in the light of the lengthening days,

The Springtime is touching the path that you tread,

With hope for the future, so lift up your head. Iris Hesselden

I wish Christine, her Executive and the Association every success in the years ahead.


Our Spring Programme on AOIFA Facebook Page

  • "Inspired by" Teaching Demonstrations by AOIFA Teachers

  • Favourites through the Gardening Year by Bríd Kelleher, Sutton Floral Art Group

  • Spotlight On some AOIFA Clubs who have managed to negotiate Lockdown and stay in touch with their members online

AOIFA and The Flower Arranger say "Thank You" to Nancy McKeever

Nancy McKeever, a member of Doddervale Flower Club, Dublin, has ensured that the Flower Arranger magazine was delivered to AOIFA clubs in Ireland since 1986. She is now passing on the baton after 34 years of uninterrupted, dedicated service.

Nancy, who is Life Vice President of AOIFA, has been a staunch member of the Association since the 1970s. She served as Chairperson from 1994 to 1996 and President from 1996 to 1998. During that period she made many friends travelling throughout the country promoting Education Days. She has served AOIFA tirelessly as a Teacher and Judge, encouraging students and competitors along the way. She is a NAFAS National Judge.

Nancy was a member of the WAFA Ireland Committee, when the 11th World Flower Show was staged in Dublin in 2014. She was editor of the WAFA Ireland Book, “ Duilleoga”.

Now, that Nancy is retiring from this job, she will have more time to devote to her on-line duties as Editor of Doddervale Flower Club Newsletter, the study of Latin and compiling a book on family history.

The Flower Arranger would like to add their sincere thanks to Nancy for her tremendous dedication over so many years. Nancy has always been a pleasure to deal with – cheerful, kind and considerate. We wish her all the best with her future activities.

The photograph below shows Mary O’Brien, Chairperson of AOIFA congratulating Nancy on her long commitment to The Flower Arranger on the occasion of the AOIFA Sapphire Celebrations.


Covid -19

A meeting of the AOIFA Executive was held via Zoom on 18th June with a view to regulate for the Association, in these unprecedented and unpredictable times. It was unanimously decided that, due to Covid - 19, AOIFA gatherings should cease until the AGM in March 2021, when the new Executive will take over. It is envisaged that such activities will return to normal in 2021.

This decision was made in order to secure the health and safety of our members and to bring some degree of clarity to the current uncertainty. In the interim, the current Executive will remain in place and manage the Association’s affairs with the help of the incoming Executive.

As each club is autonomous, it may make its own decisions regarding its activities and is advised to do so based on HSE and Government Guidelines. Please refer to https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself-and-others.html as how to protect yourself and others.

A revised schedule of events will be issued in the autumn.

Congratulations to Rosemary Smyth who was awarded Silver at Canada Blooms 2020

Canada Blooms had to close early due to Covid-19. The competitors had just enough time to stage their exhibits and have them judged before they had to take it down again.

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National Flower Festival 27-29 Sept 2019


St. Colman's Cathedral, Cobh, Co. Cork

More photos in Gallery