Community Gardens Ireland is a volunteer run organisation made up of a committee with Executive and Ordinary Members. Here are the faces behind the logo:
Chair and Spokesperson
Dee Sewell is one of the founding members of CG Ireland. She is owner of Carlow based horticulture social enterprise Greenside Up and is a qualified tutor who specialises in working with community gardens teaching people organic gardening basics. From lectures and talks to tutoring, design and consultation Dee has worked with many public and private groups and organisations and has a particular interest in the social inclusion and mental health benefits of working in community gardens. Dee was instrumental in establishing Carlow Community Garden Network and is on our Education & PR Teams.
Joanne Butler has been involved with CG Ireland since 2013. Joanne owns OURganic Gardens which is a social enterprise set up to network , promote and host talks and classes in County Donegal. Joanne was instrumental in setting up a Pilot Scheme for the Donegal Community Garden Network, setting a precedent that CG Ireland plans to roll out around the country. Joanne is looking after Membership of CG Ireland and is on the Governance and Education teams. Joanne is involved with Changemakers Donegal , Donegal Community Health Forum and Donegal Permaculture.
Sandra Austin is an academic scientist and practical gardener who has taught primary science, horticulture, comedy, molecular biology, meditation and growing projects for children, adults, business and the socially excluded Sandra is an enthusiastic grower, with her own allotment and a deeply committed idealist, passionate about the vital relationship between plants, people and resources. Sandra has been Treasurer with CG Ireland since 2012, is also on our Governance team and is keen to promote understanding and awareness of sustainability and social inclusion.
Suzie Cahn is another CG Ireland founding member who is coordinating our Governance team. Suzie is a community garden & permaculture educator. She runs Carraig Dúlra with her husband Mike based on their teaching organic & permaculture small-holding in Co Wicklow. Suzie is a mother, Permaculture Designer, Artist, as well as a practicing Art & Nature Therapist & facilitator. She gives workshops, courses & talk on diverse topics. Suzie set up Wicklow Community Gardening Group in 2006, has served on several boards including CREATE & GIY & is a founding member of Wwoof Ireland.
Eoin Craven organised a trip to Cuba in South America in 2016, forming a delegation of Community Gardeners to learn about urban farming and permaculture practices, as well as creating communication networks with established organic farmers. Eoin is a coordinator of CG Ireland, a community garden tutor and permaculture designer who is interested in food sovereignty, sustainability, woodland craft, ecological landscaping.
Ingrid Foley is an organic gardening tutor with a 1st Class Honours degree in Horticulture, mastering in Agri Science. Ingrid has been working with and teaching at The Organic Centre as well as community gardens in Leitrim for several years and was a member of the Community Garden delegation who visited Cuba along with John and Eoin. Ingrid is a passionate advocate of the many benefits of community gardening and is a coordinator on the Education Team.
John O’Donoghue is a qualified Amenity Horticulturist who has being operating Dunbro Landscapes for the past twenty years. Over the past ten years John has been working as a part-time gardening tutor in the Community Education sector of the City of Dublin Education & Training Board, facilitating gardening programmes with community groups. He is actively involved with the Muck and Magic Community Garden in Ballymun (Dublin), Dublin Community Growers & Dublin County Rep for CG Ireland. John is also on our Governance Team.