Our Team

Deirdre Morrissey (Seed Officer)

Having worked internationally for over a decade Deirdre returned to Ireland in 2012 and spent 5 years working in the not-for profit sector. In 2016 she retrained in Organic Horticulture at Dromcollagher Organic College and joined Irish Seed Savers Association in 2017 as Seed-to-Seed Assistant. In 2020 she undertook training in Botany with the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and in Seed Conservation techniques with The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She is a passionate advocate for community gardening and gardening for well-being and loves inspiring people to save their own seeds.

Tristian Lienhard (Seed to Seed course coordinator and seed quality manager for seed conservation and retail seed sales.)

Tristan develops and delivers the Seed to Seed program  to train and upskill conservation and commercial seed growers. On a day-to-day basis he also evaluates and records the entire seed to seed cycle for quality and research purposes.

Tristan’s horticultural journey started with a 2-year biodynamic apprenticeship, the 1st year of which was on a 300 acre mixed farm in East Sussex and the second year in a 2-acre Victorian walled garden in Scotland, growing medicinal herbs for processing. Tristan moved to Ireland in 2003 where he completed the Royal Horticultural Society’s level 2 certificate while setting up and running his own garden design and landscaping company – Wandering Gardens. During 2013-17, Tristan completed a BA honours degree in Early Childhood Care and Education at Mary Immaculate College, before becoming the Head Gardener at The Irish seed Savers Association in 2019. In 2022 Tristan changed role to his current position of course coordinator and seed quality manager.

Tristan is currently developing an online platform to support the Seed to Seed course, as well as developing record keeping protocols to better track seed quality relative to weather, environmental and processing influences within seed savers and the Irish context.

Sorcha Sheehy Williams (Garden Assistant)

Sorcha assists in growing crops for seed. This mainly involves preparing the soil, sowing seeds, planting out and maintaining plants until the seeds are ready for harvest.

Sorcha’s interest in organic growing began when volunteering with community gardens and permaculture smallholdings. She holds a qualification in Organic Horticulture from the Organic Centre in Rossinver and a Permaculture Design Certificate from Cultivate at Cloughjordan Ecovillage. In a previous life she studied Philosophy and Linguistics, and holds an MA in Applied Linguistics with a focus on environmental discourse.

Felice Rae (Garden Assistant)

Felice Rae has been here in Ireland for the past 23 years on the shores of Lough Derg and has been working at the Irish Seed Savers Association since 1999. She loves her job in the gardens propagating the soft fruit and also works with the seeds.

Recently she has taken on facilitating the groups from Enable Ireland in our Horticultural Therapy Unit and also enjoys working alongside the new volunteers .

Joe McGrath (Garden Assistant)

Joe McGrath is a native of Bodyke and has been here with us around 11 years now, he is a handy guy to have in the gardens. His main job is to keep the paths clear and mow around the beds he certainly keeps the gardens looking smart.

He also helps Felice in the horticultural therapy tunnel when the Enable Ireland folks come for their visits throughout the year.

Jeremy Turkington (Orchard Curator)

From Lisnanane in Co Tyrone (Within the Arch Diocese of Armagh) Jeremy grew up in a rich orcharding tradition. Jeremy has completed FDSc in Rural Development and Countryside Management from Greenmount Agricultural College in Co Antrim and is a postgraduate from Myerscough Arboracultural college Lancashire. With BSc in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry. Jeremy has a deep connection with Orchard conservation in Mid- Ulster and considers the Apple and the Oak to be the very essence of Irish heritage.

 Luc Giraud (Senior Orchard Assistant)

Luc manages the ongoing research and maintenance of the Irish heritage apple collection conserved at Irish Seed Savers and supports the orchard manager, Jeremy, in facilitating operations in the orchards and tree nursery.

Luc has five years experience volunteering with the orchard team at Irish Seed Savers, maintains his own small orchard in a traditional way and has taken pride in adding Irish heritage varieties to his orchard. Luc holds a Bachelor of Law degree and a Bachelor of Nursing Degree, and has decided to focus on apple tree conservation.

Luc is currently researching old orchards in the West of Ireland in order to identify genetically unique heritage apple varieties and significant trees to add to the National Collection at Irish Seed Savers. He will also endeavor to collate and archive all the data and research so far collected on all the apple trees.

Jeanne Mérer (Workshops Coordinator)

Jeanne programmes and coordinates the adult workshops onsite ranging from 1 day introductions to full year training.

Jeanne holds qualifications in graphic design and illustration as well as viticulture. She completed an apprenticeship in community herbalism and has experience in running art festivals, teaching art and plant medicine as well as curating exhibitions.

Jeanne is currently engaged in the Spring and Summer weekend intro workshops as well as the full year Seed to Seed training and CPD Orchard Management courses.

Gemma Sidney (Supporter Administrator)

Gemma manages all aspects of the supporter administration and is the point of contact for all queries relating to supportership subscriptions and supporter benefits.

She holds qualifications in secretarial studies and has almost 25 years of secretarial and administration experience.  Gemma has also attended several of our workshops relating to vegetable growing and orchard maintenance and grew her own vegetables for 10 years. 

Gemma is currently working to streamline supporter administration processes.  She is also working with members of the marketing and development team to fine tune the functions of the website and develop the supporter-only area of the website.

Gillian Lattimore (Acting Marketing & Development Coordinator)

Gillian is a member of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Ireland, Secretary of the ICOMOS Ireland World Heritage Working Group and a member of the ICOMOS Ireland National Scientific Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage. Prior to joining Irish Seed Savers in September 2020, Gillian worked as an administrative consultant for ICOMOS Ireland. Gillian has completed a Bachelor of Business Degree and a post graduate certificate in World Heritage Conservation at University College Dublin and a master’s degree in Digital Cultures at University College Cork.

Tansy Watson (Marketing and Sales Officer)

Tansy is local to Co. Clare, growing up in Tulla, only down the road from Irish Seed Savers. She is a past pupil of the Raheen Wood Steiner School in east Clare.

She graduated with honours from the Limerick School of Art & Design in 2008 and has had a career in Graphic Design since 2009.

Tansy began working for Irish Seed Savers in January of 2014 as part of the sales development team and as their in-house designer.