FOR the second year running Kyle Geddis was given the task of kitting out the Duchess of Cambridge for St Patrick’s Day.
And this year the Waringstown man has also provided shamrocks for Prince William and the Irish women’s rugby team who secured the Six Nations Championship last weekend.
Kyle has a long standing arrangement to provide the Royal Irish with shamrock buttonholes, but recently he’s started catering for the Irish Guards, Irish Dragoons and Queen’s Royal Hussars.
Over the past two weeks Kyle and his staff have been busy at work preparing over 7,000 shamrocks to be sent to different regiments around the world.
“We started Friday week ago once the order came in from Holywood Barracks,” he said.
“There were six of us in the nursery and six or seven ladies wrapping them in the kitchen while drinking coffee and eating sticky buns.”
Kyle’s shamrocks found themselves in the buttonholes of dignitaries such as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Colonel-in-Chief of the Irish Guards, his wife, PKate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Irish.
William, Kate and Andrew all received special buttonholes made by local woman Susan McGrath of Susan’s Flowers in Dollingstown, as did many other serving senior officers.
“There’s even one for the seven-month-old wolfhound who is the Irish Guards’ mascot,” added Kyle.
He continued: “Every day last week I was down with Jim in Waringstown Post Office. It’s the best post office in the country.
“We had buttonholes going out to the Falklands, Mali and Afghanistan as well as locations in the UK.
“They all arrived on time, though there was a bit of a panic about the ones going to Germany. When they turned up on Friday morning there was no-one there so they were taken back to the post office.
“They couldn’t locate the post office to pick them up and they’d given up hope. I gave them the tracking number, but there wasn’t much else I could do. The postman turned up again on Friday morning with the 500 shamrocks so it was alright in the end.”
Kyle added: “If anything the orders would have been up on last year.
“There were more specials than in recent years and Susan did a great job of making them up.”
Kyle, a member of Lurgan Rugby Club, told how he was given an additional boost with an order for a sports team who have been making the headlines.
He said: “A former member of the Royal Irish who is now in the backroom team with the Irish Ladies Rugby Team contacted me directly for the shamrocks.
“I was pleased to learn that the shamrocks gave them the rub of the green they needed to win the Six Nations.”