Stephen Butler has been the senior horticulturalist at the Zoo in Dublin’s Phoenix Park for the past 37 years during which time he made major changes to the style and planting of the grounds – animal enclosures and amenity areas. The development in recent years of the Savannah areas was innovative in the world of wild animal husbandry and attracted worldwide attention and praise.

Stephen has been a member of the Irish Garden Plant Society for many year. Most will know of him from the many years he managed the society’s annual seed distribution to members but he has also been a very active committee member at regional and national level and has recently undertaken major research into the availability of garden plant cultivars of Irish origin. He continues to source those most in danger of being lost to ensure they continue in cultivation.

Colleagues and friends gathered for a retirement lunch at the Zoo and Maeve Bell has kindly sent on some photographs of the occasion:

Stephen Butler cutting the retirement cake with the assistance of his wife, Frances.
Peter Stam with Stephen Butler
Carmel Duignan with Helen Dillon
Barbara Kelso with Ricky Shannon
Anne-Marie Woods with Billy McCone
Stephen Butler with Billy McCone