Approximately 17,600 people attended the opening day of Bord Bia's Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

Now in its 16th year, the food and gardening festival continues through the Bank Holiday weekend and finishes on Monday evening.

Organisers expect more than 80,000 additional people to visit over the remaining four days.

As well as show gardens, cookery demonstrations and entertainment, tomorrow will see lots of business taking place too.

In attendance for a business breakfast will be 250 food buyers including buyers from Musgraves, Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Lidl and Aldi.

They will meet 80 Irish food and drink companies here to promote their products.

Meanwhile, the IFA has urged the Government and retailers to listen to the message of President Michael D Higgins earlier today, when he called for support for the shrinking number of Irish commercial vegetable growers and criticised the practice of some retailers selling produce as "loss leaders" below the cost of production.

Bloom was officially opened by President Michael D Higgins this morning.

He said the shrinking number of commercial vegetable producers in the country needs to be supported.

He said we should be willing to "walk past these artificially priced products" and support producers.

President Higgins said relationships between Ireland and Britain are "unnecessarily difficult" and he wished they were not so.

He said nobody benefits and we should try to see our way past current difficulties.

Bloom has been a fixture of the June Bank Holiday weekend for well over a decade and it returned this morning as a full in-person festival for the first time since 2019.

Featuring 19 show gardens, 80 Irish food and drinks producers, retail outlets, cookery demonstrations and plant nurseries, the festival aims to attract more than 100,000 visitors over five days.

This year's show gardens celebrate sustainability and the positive role outdoor spaces have for health.

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What to expect at Bloom 2022