Online Shopping Ireland: Best Irish websites county by county guide for supporting local businesses

The Irish Independent is helping readers to think local and shop local ahead of Christmas with the ultimate guide to shopping local in your county across Leinster, Ulster, Connacht, and Munster. It’s a handy guide to online shopping and the Irish websites that need your support – it could be the difference between ensuring we have shops to go back to when the pandemic ends or the creation of ghost towns.

LEINSTER

CARLOW
A Touch of Class

Helen Mullins’ A Touch of Class boutique boasts labels like Luis Civit and also Linea Raffaelli, a luxury occasion-wear collection with an emphasis on comfort. https://atouchofclasscarlow.com/

Coolanowle Food Hall

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Coolanowle Food Hall sells organic meat from the Mulhall Family’s farm on the Carlow/Laois border (stock photo)


Coolanowle Food Hall sells organic meat from the Mulhall Family’s farm on the Carlow/Laois border (stock photo)

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Coolanowle Food Hall sells organic meat from the Mulhall Family’s farm on the Carlow/Laois border (stock photo)

Selling organic meat from the Mulhall Family’s farm on the Carlow/Laois border, this well-stocked food store carries a great range of local and Irish artisan food products. Shop in-person or online for delivery within 10km on Saturday mornings. Delivery is free for orders over €100. www.coolanowlefoodhall.ie

Ballyshane

Husband and Wife duo, Willie and Cheryl, create beautiful and sustainable wooden cheese and chopping boards using locally sourced Irish woods www.ballyshane.com

Lollipops and Daydreams

Based in Carlow, they make soft furnishings, with everything from aprons for children, bunting, themed blankets such as tractors, fairies, mini doll bedding and fabric names in a frame. lollipopsdaydreams.com

The Chocolate Garden

Established in 2001 by Jim and Mary Healy, The Chocolate Garden of Ireland is an award-winning family business making handmade chocolates. They create individual hampers that would be a perfect Christmas gift. https://chocolategarden.ie/

Electro City is one of the larger independent Irish electronics retailers. It has outlets in Hanover Rd, Carlow, Ormonde Business Park, Dublin Rd and Purcellsinch Kilkenny where it stocks a range of computers and electrical goods. www.electrocity.ie

DUBLIN
McNally Family Farm

The farm shop at the McNally’s organic farm in Balrickard, north Dublin has gone from strength to strength this year and now offers a host of artisan products as well as its own wonderful vegetables. You can order online for collection or simply turn up to visit the farm shop and little cafe, which has excellent coffees, sandwiches and home-bakes for takeaway. www.mcnallyfamilyfarm.ie

Omdiva

The Maker’s Market was due to open this weekend in the Om Diva store on Drury Street where Ruth Ni Loinsigh is like a fairy godmother to emerging and established designers. She has invited 20 designers, jewellers and artisans from all over Ireland to join her in the run-up to Christmas but November sales will be online. Come December 1, they can be viewed in a dedicated space on the first floor of the Drury Street space so expect talented potters to abstract artists, up and coming fashion designers to organic kids clothing producers. Omdivaboutique.com

Independent Cinemas in Dublin

Both the IFI and Light House cinemas are embracing the small screen with excellent VoD platforms

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Irish COVID-19 ‘test and trace’ system overwhelmed by case surge

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s system for tracing contacts of COVID-19 cases has been overwhelmed by a surge in cases forcing the health service in recent days to advise infected individuals to identify their own close contacts and tell them to get tested, officials said.

The government earlier this year hired hundreds of people to quickly contact those who test positive, identify people they had close contact with in the preceding days, and tell those people to self-isolate and get tested.

But a surge in infections that has almost tripled the five-day case average in Ireland since the start of October to just under 1,200 per day, meant there were no longer enough officials to make the necessary calls, the Health Service Executive said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

“We have seen unprecedented demand on the contact tracing centres with the exponential growth in the number of cases and over the week we simply couldn’t get to everyone,” Niamh O’Beirne, national lead for testing and tracing, told RTE radio.

Most of those who were informed of infections on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be asked to identify and contact their own close contacts and advise them to self-isolate and ask their doctors about arranging a free test, she said.

The Health Service Executive, which plans to add up to 800 people to its current staff of 400 contact tracers, said the normal system resumed for those informed of infections on Monday.

As a result of the surge in cases, Ireland on Monday imposed some of Europe’s toughest COVID-19 constraints, shutting non-essential retail outlets, closing restaurants and limiting non-essential travel.

Ireland on Tuesday had the 13th highest rate among the 31 countries monitored by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, with 253 cases per 100,000 over the past 14 days.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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