What would you bring home from Ireland?

Old Feb 17th, 2010, 07:31 AM
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What would you bring home from Ireland?

I am going to Ireland (Dublin, Cliffs of Moher, Connemare, Galway, Shannon) in the middle of March. I like to bring back souvenirs that are meaningful but not so touristy. Do you have any recommendations? Foods, housewares, scarves, etc.? What did you bring back that you love?
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 07:47 AM
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Honest answer: The deed to a West or North Cork property.



But, since you can probably ill-afford THAT as much as I can ... My wife collects pottery from various local potters. A piece of crafted Connemara marble makes a nice keepsake, as well. If you live in a moderately cool climate, some hand woven woolen tweed is also quite popular.

Bob
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 07:52 AM
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Well darlin' there ain't much out there which isn't touristy!
Don't be ashamed of bring back tea towels/kitchn towels that have all kinds of slogans, recipes, dancing girls doing the Irish Fling, etc. When washed the are soft and make glorious placemats at an informal barbeque!
I managed to get my grandson a little yacht at a craft shop as his room is totslly decked out in a nautical theme. Also in the village of Cong a shop was selling handmade childrens puzzles all beautifully carved. Expensive but he got one.
For mum, a lovely brooch - not a four leaf clover!
For friends, a fridge magnet recipe book with famous Irish recipes!
Scarves are aplenty but bulky. Foodstuffs are mostly whisky marmalades & preserves of some kind. Heavy & bulky!
Hope I've given you some ideas but its hard thinking back to all the stuff we saw.
Oh! a last one but also expensive. Original water colour paintings in all sizes and of various Irish scenery ready to put at the bottom of your suitcase.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 08:15 AM
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Items carved from bogwood have been great successes for me. This includes high Crosses, harps, cats and many more. Also Connemara marble Christmas ornaments were well received.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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You might consider buying a few prize bonds for yourself. This is a government lottery and the interest is used to pay the prizes -some of which exceed a million dollars. You are in every monthly draw for life if you invest 25 euros. Application forms are in post offices. I won 100 euros myself many years after I bought a few. See www.prizebonds.ie for details.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 08:28 AM
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I’d bring back Andrea Corr.

Failing that, one of the better whiskeys. You can get Irish whiskeys in Ireland that aren’t commonly available elsewhere (although bizarrely if you want poteen you have to go to England).
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 09:07 AM
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Cholmondley. Your wrong, you can now buy poteen in Ireland. Its been legal since 1997 although its been legal for export since 1989. Like most things that were once illegal and then become legal, its sort of not the same. Answering the op. Depends who you are going with, many visitors are just glad to get back with their liver intact.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 09:14 AM
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We went to Belleek to the factory showroom and purchased items to take home. That is north of where you will be going.
Other things we brought home was whiskey, stocking caps, small ceramic figurine of the cross tombstones, for the kids the Irish whistles.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 09:49 AM
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Connemara Celtic Crystal in Moycullen near Galway has beautiful things, and you can tour the factory.

Too bad you aren't going to Donegal or you could purchase some lovely things from the Sisters of Grace.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 10:06 AM
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I like Christmas ornaments - small, easy to pack and a nice memory each year when you take them out. We saw lots of nice ones including handmade pottery Celtic crosses.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 10:46 AM
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I bought a few pieces of Heather jewelry. They slice the heather so you see lovely colors in the core, flatten and polish it and set it in jewelry. Always a conversation piece.

For small souveniers, I actually go into the "tacky' souvenier shops because everything is really cheap and I'm able to pick up coasters (a friend loved the set with the different colored doors), little stone houses for Christmas ornaments, socks with things like shamrocks, etc. My friends always get a kick out of silly gifts like this.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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Thanks for all the ideas so far. I should clarify myself...I love the touristy souvenirs too. I try to get a magnet, post cards, etc from every place I travel. I just like to bring back some things that are unique as well. I'm loving all of the ideas. Keep them coming.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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You have to get a "Claddah" (sp?) ring from Galway!

Maybe a nice warm Irish Cable Knit sweater!
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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CW, good choice

I brought back a couple of sewaters, one from Aran.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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In Dublin I found a good selection of not so tacky stuff in the gift shop of the National Gallery.
I also usually bring a big pack of Lyons tea. Costs close to nothing, weighs nothing.
Kids/teenagers may like the usual t-shirts etc., either the touristy outfits or uni shirts as from Trinity college in Dublin. That and other college/uni paraphernalia is quite unique, obviously.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 01:39 PM
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I went into a couple of local music shops and brought home music by Damien Rice, Interference and the Frames - love 'em all. (I know you can get it here, it just feels better knowing I got it there and supported a local business).
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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How about a bodhrán? Some have beautiful Celtic designs. It won't weigh much but does take up some room, so pack it carefully in your stow-away luggage stuffed with clothes to protect it.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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Oh, Oh, I know this one!!

In Dingle, and I am sure you can find similar spots elswhere, I went into this little shop and ordered a Fishermans Knit Sweater. I chose the color of the yarn, the pattern, the buttons. It was custom made for me, hand knit, and arrived about 5-6 weeks after I arrived home. I live in Florida and don't get too much opportunity to wear it, but every time I do, I get compliments. More important, everytime I wear it, I remember Ireland!
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 06:41 PM
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If you have beer lover friends, buy them a Guinness t-shirt. You can get them here, of course, but if you get the right salesperson, there are some which you can purchase only there.

Book shops are a sure thing, especially for kids' books. Faber and Faber (UK) have beautifully illustrated books for children that are not sold here, at least in retail stores. We bought "The Names Upon the Harp", but while it proved to be too dark for our young grandchildren, any adult myth lover is sure to treasure it.

For spirits, like Jameson, wait for the duty-free shop at the airport.
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Old Feb 17th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Having been to Ireland on several occassions, I always try to pick up items that cannot be bought (without some effort) here in the states. One of my most prized posessions is my Foxford throw. Foxford is a woolen mill NE of Galway towards Sligo. I just love it. Also, Irish linen. I got my mom a cover for a small round table that was hand embroidered with different flowers that are common to Ireland. Another suggestion is the crystal. I can buy Waterford here and do not bother purchasing that there; however, I have some gorgeous pieces of Galway crystal. Just a few suggestions. Have fun!
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