Castlerea Prison produce Shamrocks for Hospice

Castlerea Prison produce Shamrocks for Hospice

Pictured at Castlerea Prison where the Shamrocks have been growing since late September is L-R: Governor Reilly (Castlera Prison), Monica Brogan (Fundraising Manager Mayo Roscommon Hospice), Martina Jennings (CEO Mayo Roscommon Hospice) & Governor Shally (Castlerea Prison)

As Ireland’s National Holiday fast approaches, people are making preparations all over the country as to how and where they will spend the annual feast. But one thing that is for certain, is the majority of people in Ireland will wear their national flower “The Shamrock” with great pride on the 17th March.  The emblem has been associated with Ireland for centuries and is worn on St Patrick’s Day where it is widely synonymous with St Patrick’s teaching of the Holy Trinity through use of the flower.

Over the last couple of years, Mayo Roscommon Hospice has been selling Shamrock to customers    across the region for the annual celebration and it      has proved to be a valuable source of income for the Foundation. This year they have joined forces with staff in Castlerea Prison who kindly offered to take on the project of growing the shamrock completely free of charge, so that full profits of the sale of pots go directly to Mayo Roscommon Hospice Palliative Care Service.

Over 3000 pots of shamrock have been individually grown for local sale with all proceeds to Mayo Roscommon Hospice

Shamrock growing is not as easy as you may think and Shane Connolly, Prison Officer in Castlerea has quickly become accustomed to the art of yielding them over the last number of months. “The pots were planted late September in our polytunnel inside the grounds of the prison” said Shane “and we have been keeping a close eye on them since by feeding them regularly and generally minding them. Believe it or not, shamrock need a lot of heat to survive and the adverse weather conditions we are currently experiencing, are proving to be extremely challenging. But we are very confident that over 2,000 pots will be ready to hit the shops early this week.”

The pots of locally grown shamrock will be on sale throughout Mayo and Roscommon and in all the 12 Hospice Shops across the region. “We are absolutely delighted to have the support of Castlerea Prison for this initiative” said Martina Jennings CEO, Mayo Roscommon Hospice. “This is such a huge boost towards the overall income of this particular project as it means that there are no overheads associated with the cost of producing the shamrock, so therefore every single cent that is made from the sale of the pots, goes directly towards our wonderful Palliative Care Service. We are so grateful to the staff of Castlerea Prison for taking on and overseeing it all on our behalf and would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all involved.”

Shamrocks will be on sale from the following outlets from Monday 5th March:

Ballaghaderreen: Durkans Bar &Restaurant, Shannonside Milk Products, Supervalu

Ballina: Hollister, Clarkes Filling Station, Aurivo, Gala Service station Foxford Rd Gala Supermarket

Ballyhaunis: Aurivo, Corrib Oil

Ballinrobe: Corrib Oil

Boyle: Kellys Supervalu, Aurivo Station Road

Castlebar; Café M-Moneen Industrial Estate, Educational Training Board Newtown, McAuliffe Pharmacy, Aurivo Springfield, Corrib Oil

Tulsk: Rathcroghan Visitor centre

Castlerea: Aurivo, Corrib Oil

Claremorris: Hilltop Garage

Hollymount: Hollymount stores

Killala: Aurivo

Roscommon: Molloys Bakery

Swinford: Aurivo, Mellets Newsagents, Credit union, Corrib Oil

Westport: Aurivo

All Hospice shops in Mayo & Roscommon