A staggering €60,000 was raised for two worthy causes thanks to a field of sunflowers in Shillelagh.
Minmore Farm welcomed visitors from around the country for three weeks during the month of August to see the sunflowers in bloom, People had the chance to enjoy the 3.5 acre field of sunflowers and to cut a few to take home with them. Honesty boxes were set up at the entrance to the field where people could leave a donation to support the Wicklow Hospice and the Irish Cancer Society.
The project was the idea of the Tynan family of Minmore Farm. It proved to be a huge success, raising €60,941.60 which will be divided between the two charities.
A cheque for €30,470.80 was presented to the Wicklow Hospice on Sunday.
Speaking to this paper, farmer Colin Tynan said the amount raised was 'fantastic' and the family were 'blown away' by the success of the event.
'We raised ten times more than I'd expected. I thought if we got between €4,000 and €5,000, we'd be doing well,' he said.
The field of sunflowers drew admirers from as far away as Counties Clare, Cork and Louth though Colin said most of the visitors had come from County Dublin.
It was such a success that the Tynan family often worked 12 hour days during the three week period as visitors flocked to see the sea of sunflowers in bloom. Neighbours also stepped in to offer help with parking for visitors.
A cheque was presented to the Wicklow Hospice at Minmore Farm on Sunday.
In a post on social media, the Wicklow Hospice said: 'We are so very grateful. Thank you all and we hoped you all enjoyed the wonderful feel-good factor of a field of beautiful sunflowers.'
Mr Tynan thanked those who made a donation in support of the two causes.
'I also wanted to thank our neighbours for all of their help, particularly with car parking. My family and I were doing 12 hour days from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. It was hard work but it paid off.
'However, the fundraiser would have been very difficult without the support of our neighbours. It was a lot of work, but it was really worth it,' Mr Tynan added.