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Favorite Thing You Bought in Ireland

Old Mar 10th, 2006, 06:32 AM
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While in Dublin in 1996, I bought a fabulous shawl made of soft, soft wool, darker graduated shades of green. I still have it, and it is wonderful. It keeps me warm, is very versatile, and even keeps me dry in a light rain.
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 06:44 AM
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I disagree about finding everything Irish in America. We both bought beautiful teal hand knit sweaters--mine in Adara, my husband's in Sneem. Have never seen anything even comparable anywhere else.

We went nuts in Magee's in Donegal. My husband has two lovely tweed jackets that you would never find in the states. I bought gloves and some Donegal tweed and made slacks.

We didn't buy any crystal or jewelry.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 06:30 AM
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We purchased a small oil painting in Dingle by a well known Irish painter a wool blanket and lace in Kinsale.

No Guiness for me - but loved the Irish coffee with brown sugar !
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 06:56 AM
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A blue pitcher and bowl that sit on the top book shelf in my office; I enjoy them every day. The claddagh ring we got at Dillon's in Galway for 25 anniversary. And the Waterford pitcher I hand carried home.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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I am going to Ireland in July and this thread is heaven to read, it gives to so many great ideas. I know this question is off the track but..My sister made our plane reservations from London to Dublin on Aer Lingus. You can only have one small carry on 13lbs. and one checked bag 44lbs., no more. Did anyone else have this problem ? How did you get your treasures home? I am thinking of boxing all my clothes up and shipping them home and bringing my treasures back on the plane. We will have two days in London before heading home. I have no problem with traveling light and usually can buy what I want and still get everthing in my 21" but Ireland is our heritage and I plan to be a little more free on my spending. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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I bought some things at the Belleek factory for myself and birthday boxes for my daughter and nieces (and one for me). The boxes make nice gifts. They are small, round, hinged china boxes with the birth month flower on top. I cheated and got the one for March for myself because it is a lily of the valley and matched the other stuff.

Anyway, they shipped it all home for me which meant I didn't have to pay VAT and go through getting it returned, nor did I have to worry with carrying it around. The shipment arrived very promptly and in good condition, and the shipping cost less than the VAT would have.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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2 Waterford champagne flutes that my fiancee used to propose to me, and that will be our wedding champagne glasses.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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My personal favorite is the lovely yarn I purchased in a small shop in Donegal. My husband's favorites are his tweed jacket and a tweed hat (I don't know what the hat is called, but I think of it as a driver's hat, with a small bill and the top kind of slouched over the bill). Other wonderful items that bring back beautiful memories: our set of Waterford wine glasses & champagne flutes, linen tablecloth and napkins with the Donegal rose embroidered/cut out, Irish music CDs, silver earrings with Celtic design & a silver bracelet with the history of Ireland portrayed in a series of icons (this bracelet also stands with a certain amount of defiance against the British...), a set of place setting mats with Irish scenes on them, and a love of Guiness. Happy travels! Happy shopping!!
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Hester,

Pack light. My checked suitcase for two weeks in Italy weighed 25 pounds, plenty of space and weight left for purchases and I had all the clothes I needed, including three pairs of shoes. I've mailed things back from Europe and it is expensive so try not to bring heavy clothes or items you won't need. Layer. Do a trial packing and weigh your suitcase. If you don't have a lightweight suitcase borrow or buy one. Wear your heaviest clothing and shoes on the plane.

I bought sweaters and jewelry in Ireland, no problem to pack and had the pottery shipped, which was a mistake. Should have used bubble wrap and taken it in my carryon.

The carryon may be the problem for you depending upon what you purchase. Pottery or glass may be heavy. You can buy or borrow a lightweight rolling suitcase but it will weigh at least five pounds, probably more, or take an almost weightless over-the-shoulder nylon weekender for your carryon.

Leave your heavy sweater at home and buy one in Ireland and wear it home.

Are you allowed a purse in addition to the 13-pound carryon? Put your camera and other small, heavy things in there.

My favorite purchases are the one of jewelry pieces and my sweaters, both easy to take home. I wish I'd bought a small painting though as one poster did.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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A very pretty wool scarf and a really pretty skirt from a Dublin boutique.
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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I always stock up on my pottery collection when I go home to Ireland. Jack O'Patsy pottery makes great gifts and tea just somehow tastes better poured from his beautiful tea-pots into his beautiful mugs! Nicholas Mosse pottery is quite lovely too.
I would also recommend to everyone to pick up a Donegal tweed cap on your way back through duty free. These caps are great for a bad hair day, won't flatten your hair on a cold, but otherwise good, hair day and they are practical too -- withstanding the elements like no other hat.
Stock up on Irish writers if you're a bookie (like me) and overlook the dated (and dare I say cheesy) claddagh for more contemporary irish jewelery.
If you have kids to buy for, the kids clothes in department stores like Dunnes Stores are cheap, stylish/fun, and excellent quality. Infant bibs (known as dribblers in Ireland) are always an excellent gift for new parents for some reason! Wellignton boots were very much in style this winter in NYC and you can get the standard classic wellies in Ireland for a tiny fraction of the price you pay here.
Sports fans should visit a local sports shop and get the county's or town's hurling/galeic football jerseys. These make great gifts (and fashion statements too!)
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 02:21 PM
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23 years ago, my husband and I went to Ireland for 2 weeks, 6 months after we were married. We bought 2 teacups/saucers, not at all expensive, covered in shamrocks, that we still use today and fondly remember our wonderful trip there.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 12:20 AM
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A slate hand painted plaque that says the gaelic saying for something like " a thousand welcomes". It hangs in my entry hall.
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Old Apr 6th, 2006, 02:24 AM
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Although I bought them at the Country Living Magazine Christmas Fair in London, my favorite Irish items are the waterproof Irish linen raincoats by Winnie Magee. Outstanding quality, very stylish and distinctive. Bought one for my 5 yo niece and one for myself. Their web site is very basic at the moment: http://www.winniemagee.com/
BUT they will be happy to send you more detailed info. Their current shop is in County Down, but they also have stands at fairs throughout Ireland and the UK.
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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kjenn - Cead Mile Failte - means one hundred thousand welcomes. It was handpainted in black lettering above my grandmother's red fireplace in Dunquin.
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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If we won't actually make it to Waterford are there plenty of places in Dublin, around the country to buy Waterford crystal? At the airport?
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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A silver necklace with four pearls that form a square cross (although i didn't know it was a cross when I bought it.) I wear it everyday now and it reminds me of the wonderful pedestrian street in Galway where I bought it.
 
Old Jun 8th, 2006, 07:56 AM
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Saw no mention of Stephen Pearce (brother of Simon) pottery. I fell in love with the blue and white "celebration" pattern during our recent trip to Ballycotton and Kinsale and picked up a couple of pieces.
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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Stephie, you can buy Waterford everywhere. I picked up a ring holder in the Dublin airport on our way home in April.
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Old Jun 8th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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I wish I could remember the name of the store in Dublin. It's the Wicked something, a really cool art gallery. I bought a ceramic face mask that looks like John lennon with it's tongue sticking out. I love it.
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