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The Apple Doesn't Fall
Far From the Tree

Excerpts from the West Cork People Article

Sixty-five years on from selling his first small selection of bedding plants, Barry Shanahan of Shanahan's Nurseries in Clonakilty has passed the reins on to the next generation; Barry's nephew and namesake, Barry Kingston, with his wife Mary, has taken over the day-to-day running of the business. Barry Shanahan is still a long way from retirement however, as the family explains to Sheila Mullins.

Barry Kingston showed the first signs of following his uncle into a career in horticulture when he was just a schoolboy. Working every Saturday and during the holidays wasn't enough to satisfy young Barry's green fingers; Barry Senior laughs at the memory of his 13-year-old nephew running home from school and, "even before he had even had his dinner, he was here to see what he could help with. Gardening was born into him." Thirty-three years on and Barry is still growing plants at his uncle's side and will continue to do so; Barry Senior maintains his daily visits to all sections of the three-acre site, from the Italian Garden to his new project, a delicate wildflower meadow.

After 23 years in Reenascreena Post Office, Mary Kingston joined the nurseries in 2008 and maintains the administration side of things. Barry Shanahan is delighted to see the business in such capable hands. "It is now almost 12 months since the transfer of the business to my nephew," he says, "I am confident that Barry and Mary will continue to maintain the high standards and quality of our stock of trees, shrubs, plants and fruit trees."

It is an adherence to the highest of standards that has earned Shanahan 's Nurseries a reputation for excellence throughout West Cork. Each plant is carefully bred, tended and judged for quality before being made available to a customer for purchase. Planning gardens is very much part of Barry Kingston's expertise. Whether new gardens or renovating older plots, he is always available to pop out and take a look at the project. "It's far easier to suggest plants if I'm familiar with a garden - the conditions, soil, space available and so on."

Barry and Mary employ three staff and are also regularly assisted in watering duties by their children Brendan, 14, and 12-year-old Annie; another generation is learning the ropes! Barry Shanahan would like to thank all his customers for their loyal custom over the many years. "Continuing the tradition of Shanahan's, my nephew Barry will have many new varieties of trees and shrubs available as they come on the market and I know he will always be happy to help customers in any way."

Barry Shanahan

Barry Shanahan began Shanahan's Nuseries in the 1960's.
He left school at an early age and went into business with Bedding Plants, and later
added in the selling of Tomato plants, and finally as the business grew in success added
the selling of Trees and Shrubs to what is now a 3-acre site of horticultural excellence.

For over 50 years Shanahan's Nurseries has been providing the plants, garden supplies,
and design expertise for the 'Garden Connoisseur' to create their unique garden designs.
Click on the photos below to enlarge and see how one man with an idea and a passion for
beauty & horticulture created Shanahan's 3 acres of nurseries for the 'Garden Connoisseur'.

May this beautiful land of Ireland, with its glorious shades of green,
be rich in those who appreciate the beauties of its four seasons.
May the gentle Irish mists wipe away your sad memories and forever be
a source of moisture to keep alive your joyful ones.
May you always thrill at the sight of the first swallow or the sound of the first cuckoo.
May the wonderful, simple and beautiful things of Nature, forever changing,
forever the same, lead us to the profound knowledge of the Mighty Creator,
but always the gentle and loving Good Lord, who told us not a sparrow falls
from the sky without His knowledge.    (B. Shanahan)

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