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‘Early Cancer Detection is Key’at Bord Bia Bloom 2024

Marie Keating Foundation calls for increased education around early cancer detection through show garden at Bloom 2024

  • Marie Keating Foundation unveils ‘Early Cancer Detection is Key’ Show Garden at Bord Bia Bloom 2024
  • Early detection and diagnosis of cancer, followed by effective treatment, improves survival for nearly all cancer types.
  • Visitors can visit the Marie Keating Foundation Show Garden from 30th May to 3rd June at Bord Bia Bloom at Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Dublin, 29 May 2024 – The Marie Keating Foundation today launched their ‘Early Cancer Detection is Key’ garden at Bord Bia Bloom 2024. The garden is a beacon of hope and education, emphasising the importance of early detection for the five leading cancers in Ireland: breast, skin, lung, bowel and prostate cancer.

The garden represents a collaboration between the Marie Keating Foundation and AstraZeneca with the aim of illuminating the path to early intervention to significantly enhance treatment outcomes and ultimately save lives.

Designed by award-winning, Dublin-based gardener David Gallagher, the garden balances visually the stark reality of rising cancer rates with the need for hope and reflection. Featuring a meandering path and striking stone columns symbolising the five most common cancers, the garden is designed to be a visual narrative of the cancer experience for those who visit.

A circular reflection area with a fire pit reflects the importance of conversations and community for cancer patients, which the Marie Keating Foundation provides.

Sharing her story to support the Marie Keating Foundation is Dearbhaile O’Hare who is a patient ambassador of the Foundation and the writer behind the collection of poetry, Things Went T*ts Up, which explores the difficult journey of a cancer diagnosis from treatment to recovery, to surviving and thriving. Dearbhaile was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021 and completed active treatment 19 months later.

“Throughout my cancer journey I rekindled an old love of writing and in December 2023 I published Things Went T*ts Up, which is a book of raw, honest and humours poetry and ‘titbits’ about my breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The hope is to bring comfort and maybe even an unexpected laugh to anyone going through a cancer diagnosis or caring for a loved one going through it. All profits from the sale of the book go to the Marie Keating Foundation and Purple House Cancer support, paying it forward to those who so lovingly had my back when I needed it most.”

On average, 41,767 cancers or related tumours were diagnosed each year during 2019-2021. This is approximately 1 diagnosis every 15 minutes.[1]

For gardener David Gallagher, designing and building this garden was a personal experience,

“Having personally experienced the impact of cancer on my own family, I know how essential the message ‘early cancer detection is key’ truly is. Each element of the garden was designed to resonate with those who have been on the cancer journey, either personally or with a loved one. The garden is both a sanctuary and a place of education, to spread the message of early cancer detection and to spotlight the important work and support the Marie Keating Foundation provides to cancer patients and their families.”

The Marie Keating Foundation is committed to being there for people and their families at every step of their cancer journey, providing information, education and support services.

As part of the festival this year, the Marie Keating Foundation will be holding a breakfast briefing event on Friday 31st May to launch their ‘Supporting Early Cancer Detection’ document.

Commenting on another year participating in Bord Bia Bloom, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation and cancer survivor, Liz Yeates said,

“We are delighted to be back at Bord Bia Bloom again this year with a beautiful garden designed by David Gallagher that thoughtfully represents the cancer journey and conveys the important message, ‘early cancer detection is key’. We wanted the garden to provoke dialogue around the importance of early intervention in cancer care amongst Bord Bia Bloom visitors and to encourage people to have conversations about cancer and proactive health management with their friends, families and colleagues. While the garden is a place of tranquillity, it is also a call to action: engage, learn, and listen to your body. Help us to ensure the benefits of early detection are understood and acted upon, especially in underserved areas.”

Commenting on the show garden this year, Alex Wilkes, Country President, AstraZeneca Ireland (Commercial Operations) said,


“At AstraZeneca we understand the importance of collaboration in transforming cancer care. That’s why we are proud to support the Marie Keating Foundation’s ‘Early Cancer Detection is Key’ show garden at Bord Bia Bloom 2024.  David Gallagher has expertly merged the beauty of the garden with the crucial message of the importance of early detection, which we believe can significantly improve cancer prognosis and survival rates. The garden exemplifies AstraZeneca’s unwavering commitment to patients, as it promotes greater awareness of cancer’s early signs and symptoms. We remain committed to advancing research and innovation in cancer treatments so we can continue to deliver life-changing benefits for patients.”


Visitors can visit the Marie Keating Foundation Show Garden from 30th May to 3rd June at Bord Bia Bloom at Phoenix Park, Dublin.

After Bord Bia Bloom, the garden will move to a permanent home at Cork Ark Centre where it will serve as a community stronghold where support networks thrive, and where crucial health messages about early detection are shared with every visitor.


[1] Cancer in Ireland – Marie Keating Foundation