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 (Head Gardener)

My 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. I moved to Ireland in 2003 where I completed the Royal Horticultural Society’s level 2 certificate while setting up and running my own garden design and landscaping company – Wandering Gardens. In 2017, I completed a BA degree in Early Childhood Care and Education at Mary Immaculate College. I am delighted to now be involved with saving seed in these times of diminishing diversity.

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.

Jeanne Mérer (Workshop and Events Officer)

Jeanne is originally from France but has felt more at home in Ireland since 2000 when she first arrived in Dublin port. With a graphic design degree under her belt, she navigated the visual art and dance scene in Dublin for 9 years.

Strange and wonderful circumstances wooed her back to France for a life changing experience on a vineyard. This served as a major eye opener regarding modern agricultural practices, what we eat, how we grow and forage food, how we relate to the earth. On her return to Ireland in 2016, she moved to the Cloughjordan ecovillage in Co. Tipperary and was delighted to join the Irish Seed Savers team as Education Assistant.

Coordinating the big workshop weekends here is one of many ways she plays her part in today’s environment and an opportunity to support such a beautiful and life sustaining place in Scariff.

Gemma Sidney (Supporter Administrator)

Originally from south Wales, Gemma has spent most of her working life at one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms in London and Dublin. After having children and settling in Clare, Gemma decided to follow her heart and swap the corporate reception desk for our reception desk here at Irish Seed Savers and joined us in early 2018.  After several years working in our shop she is now delighted to be looking after our valued supporters as our Supporter Administrator.  Gemma is passionate about nature and environmental issues and is dedicated to her role in contributing to the important work of Irish Seed Savers.

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.

Barry Foley (Marketing and Sales Officer)

Barry is a native of Tipperary Town but is now based in the Burren in Co Clare. Having attained a Masters Degree in Digital Arts from the National College of Art & Design in 2007 he worked as a supervisor for Irelands Eye and Assistant Director at the Limerick City Gallery of Art.

Barry began working for Irish Seed Savers in 2014 and his dedication and commitment has made him an integral part of our team.

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.

Marrianne Cronin (Administration Coordinator)

Marrianne is from Cork originally and arrived in Clare with her family in 2000 via London! Joining Seed Savers in June 2011, Marrianne was initially brought on board to administer our Department of Agriculture, Pobal and LEADER grants and has since added a few more strings to her bow.

She does a lot of our proof reading and actually knows the difference between eminent and imminent, but don’t hold it against her. She is efficacious, indefatigable and always has her brightness setting turned up full!

When she is not working, Marrianne likes gardening (organically of course!), knitting, singing and reading and lives in Tuamgraney with her husband and two cats, her children having flown the nest.