Conor Delaney, VP of Operations, and Site Leader at BioMarin, Avril Daly, Vice-President of Eurordis, Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Michael McGrath, and artist Rachel Doolin as the new scuplture was unveiled. Photo: Michael O’Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

Sculpture to mark 10 years

A specially commissioned sculpture by Cork artist Rachel Doolin has been unveiled to celebrate BioMarin’s ten years in Ireland.

The Giving Tree sculpture celebrates the global biopharmaceutical company’s roots in Ireland and consists of 1,200 individual bronze disks.

For each disk, a native tree is being planted across Ireland symbolising, the company said, its commitment to the environment and aspiration to create a better future for rare disease patients.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath officially unveiled The Giving Tree on Monday. He said: “Over the last ten years BioMarin’s presence has grown, making Ireland the company’s most significant operation outside of the US.

“Companies like BioMarin are very important to our economic success, but it extends beyond that to its connection to rare disease communities, to its employees and to the wider communities in Cork and in Dublin. This story of connection is reflected in The Giving Tree sculpture.”

BioMarin worked with the National Sculpture Factory to run a commission for a sculpture that would reflect the company’s presence in Ireland, patient connection and focus on sustainability. The timing of the commission had the additional impact of allowing BioMarin to support the arts industry in a time of great uncertainty due to the pandemic.

Submissions were received from a number of artists across Ireland, and were reviewed by a panel of judges including leading patient advocate, Avril Daly, Vice-President of EURORDIS, former Chairperson of Rare Diseases Ireland, and CEO of Retina International. Irish artist, Rachel Doolin was unanimously selected by the panel.

The awarded artist, Rachel Doolin, recognised and reflected BioMarin’s commitment to the rare disease community in her installation. The dedication of the teams at Shanbally, and across all BioMarin sites became even more evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, adapting operations to ensure the needs of the patients who depend on BioMarin’s therapies continued to be met.

Jim Lennertz, Senior Vice President and head of the company’s EMEA Commercial Operations headquartered in Dublin commented: “Ireland is a major location for BioMarin and we are very proud of what we have achieved in this country over the last 10 years.

“Patients across the globe are supported with therapies manufactured here in Ireland - this is an important era in the development of therapies for rare disease patients around the world, and our Irish commercial and manufacturing operations will play a key role in that success. The sculpture is a daily reminder of our connection back to the patients, to our environment and to each other.”