How to support Irish this week

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St Patrick’s Day celebrations are a lot quieter than usual, but you can still celebrate all things green by supporting Irish businesses on Paddy’s Day and beyond

It is surreal that the pubs are closed, and that there will be no parades this year. But the most patriotic thing you can do now is to vote with your money. Irish businesses are no doubt struggling to comprehend what the future will hold, and they need our support now more than ever.

The great thing is, it really is a joy to support Irish producers, makers and independent shops. As we face more time at home, it’s nice to treat yourself and your loved ones to well-made products of brilliant quality.

Here, team Irish Country Magazine shares how they’re supporting Irish:

Klara, Editor

With Mother’s Day this weekend, I plan on buying my mam something nice from one of my favourite stores that supports Irish makers – Irish Design Shop, Kilkenny, Avoca or maybe even an Irish brand like Pestle & Mortar on Cloud10Beauty.

Caroline Dolan Ceramics espresso cup, Irish Design Shop €20

Irish Design Shop is offering free shipping to encourage customers to shop safely from home. Use the discount code Covid19 at checkout. They will also giftwrap your purchase and add a greeting card with a personal message.

Voya gift set, Kilkenny €51

Kilkenny is offering €15 off when you spend €75 or more online using the code women15.

I’m also being more conscious than usual of picking up Irish produce when I shop, like Irish charcuterie from The Wooded Pig.

I’ve been playing Irish music on Spotify all week too. These are all small things but they matter to me and hopefully wil make a small difference to all the talented makers and creators we are so lucky to have here in Ireland.

Laura, Art Director

This Christmas I gifted my sister a monthly bunch of flowers subscription from the brilliant duo at The Crate. So impressed by the gorgeous and unusual blooms and the easy delivery options, we ordered a fabulous double bunch to be delivered to Mam this Mother’s Day.  Unfortunately the current situation means this can’t happen on the day, but we’re absolutely honouring the order for a later date, to support this small Irish business.

As a family, we are also enjoying the monthly delivery from Brew Box Coffee. Each month surprises with beans from roasters in Ireland and abroad. It’s a brilliant treat if you like your coffee and a great introduction to some of the wonderful roasters all around Ireland. We are currently enjoying barista style coffee at home with a bag from Roasted Brown, based in Delgany, Co Wicklow and looking forward to Upside Coffee Roasters based in Fairview, arriving in April.

On the subject of coffee, my fab sister will be gifted a voucher for our favourite local coffeeshop, CoffeeWorks which opened recently in Blanchardstown. Such a lovely team, space and vibe. I figure with the money I’m saving on buying coffee and lunches, I can spend on Irish businesses while they are closed. I’m looking forward to coffee and chats there in the near future. 

I’ve also treated myself to some Mourne textiles coasters from Scout on Essex Street. I love this store, which champions lots of Irish brands. I’m looking forward to picking them up in store soon. There is an extra 20% off everything at the moment online, just use the code: Washyourhands20 at checkout. I bought some beautiful cards recently by Westport based Superfolk. Their Wild Sea notecards will be winging their way around the globe to friends and family. Nothing like snail mail to bring a smile in these uncertain times.

Maeve, Brand Manager

I’ve been shopping local in Dublin 8 over the last few days. I go to my local butcher who also sells vegetables, wine and lovely Irish artisan brands.

I’ve been getting my takeaway coffee in Marlowe & Co around the corner, who also stock Liliput Trading Company comte cheese, which is amazing.

I plan on buying vouchers for my favourite restaurants in town, where I know I’ll be going once they reopen. And I’m going to book a staycation in an Irish hotel for the summer time. The hospitality industry will be hit hard so we need to do what we can now to keep them open so we can enjoy our favourite places at a later date. There are so many ways we can help Irish businesses and keep the economy ticking over.

Lucky Tortoise, Dublin

Ariana, Advertising Manager

My mom and I had planned to go away for Mother’s Day to a hotel in Co Mayo but sadly that has all been postponed. Instead we are prepping for isolation by visiting the local charity shop to buy pre-loved books and jigsaw puzzles. We even managed to find an old Scrabble set.

I also needed to buy a few bits for the home office and ensured to buy from Irish suppliers.

I will buy a voucher for my mom’s favourite restaurant Beckett’s in Leixlip as a Mother’s Day gift, and we will go once all of this is over.

Beckett’s in Leixlip

Róisín, Deputy Editor

I have stocked up on books by Irish writers. This month has so many brilliant new releases, so I actually have reason to look forward to nights in. Here are some books to get stuck into. Irish booksellers have brilliant offers for buying online, you’ll actually be surprised at the great value to be had.

With all this time at home, there’s no excuse not to spend time cooking really nice meals. When I hit the shops I have been buying Irish where I can, and I’m also using this time to discover new producers in my local shop. I’ve been adding Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms cep oil to basically everything and it is delicious. Working from home makes me want to snack more, so I’ll be buying some Irish cheese and Union Hall smoked salmon paté.

I understand the impulse to cancel subscriptions as we enter uncertain times. But I’m rooting for Irish creatives by continuing to support writers like Esther O’Moore Donohue (her newsletter cracks me up) and podcasters The Creep Dive on Patreon. Distractions are essential right now.

All this time at home means I am using lots of candles too, like this one from Mookie & Boo. When payday rolls around I plan on treating to myself to something I have wanted for ages; a really nice diffuser and some essentials from brands like Kotanical and Bare Essentials.