Dermot O'Neill (gardener)

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Dermot O'Neill is an Irish gardener[1] and editor of Garden Heaven magazine.[2] He has appeared on several radio and television programmes for RTÉ and the BBC Northern Ireland and has contributed regular columns for Irish newspapers and magazines including the RTÉ Guide, The Irish Times, Northern Ireland Homes & Lifestyle and The Sunday Independent.


O'Neill worked at the Marlfield garden centre in Cabinteely, Dublin, before moving to the University College Dublin horticultural unit. In 1982 he began to appear on RTÉ children's programmes, before presenting a gardening segment Live at Three.[3]

O'Neill has appeared on The Garden Show, Open House, and Today With Pat Kenny. He has been a guest on The Restaurant[4] and the travel show Time on their hands. In 2007, he launched Garden Show Ireland at the walled garden at Hillsborough Castle.[5] In 2008, O'Neill appeared on the St. Patrick's Day episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. He is a regular horticultural contributor to the Mooney show with Derek Mooney on RTÉ Radio 1.

O'Neill served on the council of the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland is a founder committee member of the Irish Garden Plant Society.[6] In 2016, Mount Congreve House Gardens announced that a new variety of the Magnolia plant, one of O'Neill's favourite flowers, would be named Magnolia Cambellii 'Dermot O'Neill' in his honour.[7]

Personal life[edit]

O'Neill grew up in Blackrock, Dublin. His maternal grandmother was from Limerick. He was educated at C.B.C. Monkstown Park.

In the summer of 2009, O'Neill was diagnosed with cancer.[8] Initially thought to be a recurrence of a previous stomach ulcer, O'Neill was later diagnosed with stomach cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He was treated at Beacon Hospital,[9] Beaumont Hospital,[10] and St. Vincent's Private Hospital.[11] O'Neill spent almost 6 months at St. Vincent's and underwent chemotherapy under the care of Prof. John Crown.[12] O'Neill has been cancer free since 2011.[13]

After his recovery, O'Neill completed an RTÉ TV series, Dermot's Secret Gardan, about his health problems and renovations of his Victorian walled garden in Clondeglass, Co. Laois.[14][15][16] He is a patron of the homeless charity Threshold.