WITH THE Christmas lights being turned on on Dublin’s Grafton Street yesterday evening, it can only mean that the festive season is fast approaching.
If the thoughts of buying gifts for people stresses you out, then this list is for you.
Here, we provide one gift idea from every county in Ireland. Ranging from toys to ornaments, candles, and more obscure items, this list is sure to provide some ideas for gifts for everyone in your life.
Whether or not you purchase from these businesses, we recommend to shop local and support small independent businesses.
And now for the list…
Arckit is a 100% Irish-owned and operated company based in Dublin that allows users to physically explore designs and bring ideas to life using click and connect modular components.
Founded by architect Damien Murtagh, the aim of the product is to open up the world of architecture to everyone. The company has seen so much success in recent years that its products have won at the Independent Toy Awards, with some people describing it as an Irish answer to LEGO.
Click here for more: www.arckit.com
Custom Keepsakes is a creator of personalised gifts and keepsakes that are the perfect way to commemorate a special occasion.
Whether you know someone spending their first Christmas in a married couple, need a reusable planner or want to create a one-off piece for a life event, Custom Keepsakes will be able to help you out.
Click here for more: www.customkeepsakes.ie
The Irish Biltong Co. is a family owned business in Co Kildare. John and Noreen Doyle both come from farming backgrounds and John has been in the meat industry for over 25 years.
Their family history and experience in agricultural processes, along with rearing Irish grass fed cattle on their own farm, allows the Doyles to give people that essential ingredient of trust that every customer needs. Their biltong is made from the very best cuts of beef, with very little fat and no artificial preservatives, and is a great addition to a low-carb diet, or any diet which involves working out on a regular basis.
Click here for more: www.irishbiltong.ie
The Sheep is an idea developed by Raytus Gassner and Mark Tierney as an authentic and true hand crafted Galway-made gift.
The Sheep are hand produced in a studio located upstairs in on Mainguard Street in the heart of Medieval Galway City. Three sizes are available (small, medium & large), as well as four characters; standing, looking, eating and rocking.
Click here for more: www.thesheep.ie
Aran Woollen Mills was founded in 1965 by Maire Hughes and is still a family business with her two sons Pat and Vincent Hughes running the operation from their base in Westport.
They use top quality wools, much of it merino wool, in their beautiful warm and cosy knitwear, which is made in their in the west of Ireland.
Click here for more: www.aranwoollenmills.com
Coming off the back of a recent win at the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards (where it beat of competition from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s tequila brand), Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin would make the perfect gift for the gin and spirit lover in your life.
The gin is created by Pat (PJ) Rigney in the family-owned Shed Distillery, with its production employing over 80 people.
Only launched in 2016, it now sells in over 80 countries and the company says it is one of the fastest growing super-premium gin brands in the world with listings in prestigious venues including Disney and Cunard in the US, Claridge’s in London and The Four Seasons in New York.
Click here for more: www.drumshanbogunpowderirishgin.com
Thinking Toys is a business located in Killaloe, Co Clare, which was born in 2004 out of a frustration of a lack of availability of toys for children with special needs.
Recognising the need for toys which would assist in their daughter’s development following major brain surgery at the age of two (now 26), husband and wife Aine and Michael set about creating a one-stop-shop for special needs toys and small scale specialist equipment in Ireland.
The couple say they put as much effort into sourcing and promoting a €1 whistle as they do an €800 bubble tube, understanding that any product can have as much importance as the next.
Click here for more: www.thinkingtoys.ie
Waggy Pooch is a small business in Cahersiveen which specialises in handmade pet ID tags, collars and leashes – making the perfect gift for the animal lover in your life.
Gift cards and pet memorial items such as keychains and bracelets are also available.
Click here for more: www.waggy-pooch.com
Andrea Mears Jewellery is a range inspired by a sense of magic that is just below the surface of everyday moments. All jewellery, ranging from gold plated to gold filled and sterling silver products, is created in a studio in Limerick and comes in eco-friendly packaging.
Click here for more: www.andreamears.com
After the closure of the Waterford Crystal factories in Ireland in 2009, a team of master craftsmen came together & formed The Irish Handmade Glass Company. Located in the Kite Design Studios on Henrietta Street, in the heart of The Viking Triangle in Waterford City, they aim to keep the centuries old craft and tradition alive.
Their Robin Redbreast Bauble (pictured) would make a beautiful addition to any Christmas tree!
Click here for more: www.theirishhandmadeglasscompany.com
Retro clothes are all the rage right now, so why not treat someone to a retro jersey from Ógra Retro? Established by GAA fan David Morrissey in 2019, the business specialises in the reproduction of classic Gaelic Games jerseys.
Almost 50 products have been released in two years and the team is continuously adding to its range of stock. We have released at least one product of every county in Ireland. If you have any more enquiries, please contact us through Social media or email [email protected]
Click here for more: www.ograretro.com
Dialize Clothing was set up by Paddy Cox, who has undergone years of dialysis treatment due to kidney disease.
Recognising how invasive treatment is, and how body parts are often exposed in front of others to find a vein to put the drip into, he decided to create clothing with extra zips which can be worn during treatment.
Products include full-zips, half-zips and t-shirts, with more on the way for all ages and styles.
Click here for more: www.dializeclothing.com
Simone Walsh is an artist and illustrator based in Wexford who uses acrylic paint and glazes to create a unique three dimensional quality in her work.
Based in her Gallery in County Wexford, Simone has developed an extensive and diverse range of subject matter from city and country scenes, quirky cats, brand art, fish and birds, home interiors to seascapes, all of which she executes beautifully & with captivating charm and character.
We’re particularly fond of her ‘Great British Bites’ artwork, pictured above!
Click here for more: www.simonewalsh.net
Perfect for the cheese-lover in your life, Ballyshane is a small business which creates beautiful wooden cheese and serving boards which are handcrafted using 100% sustainably sourced Irish Hardwoods.
Run by married couple William and Cheryl, only trees that are dead, dying or wind fell are used for the boards, with each one coming with a traceability tag letting you know where in Ireland the wood for the board came from. It’s a family affair as Willie’s mum Anne oils and wraps every single board that leaves the workshop, and his father John having come from two generations of master craftsmen.
Click here for more: www.ballyshane.com
Retail Excellence Ireland’s National Gift store of the Year 2019 Nook & Cranny provides shoppers with a gorgeous range of gifts and quality brands.
Carefully sourced both in Ireland and overseas, you will find retro games and puzzles, premium natural wax candles, stylish fashion accessories and design-led homewares. With books for fun and books for knowledge, quirky signs and a really great greeting card selection, a browse here (or on their online store!) will absolutely bring a smile to your face.
They also have a section on their website with gifts which would be perfect for Irish people abroad, as well as a directory of gifts made in Ireland.
Click here for more: www.nookandcranny.ie
Tullamore Dew is the second-largest-selling brand of Irish whiskey globally, with sales of 1,500,000 cases per annum as of 2020.
The whiskey was originally produced in Tullamore, Co. Offaly at the old Tullamore Distillery which was established in 1829.
In 2010, the brand was purchased by William Grant & Sons, who constructed a new distillery on the outskirts of Tullamore. The new distillery opened in 2014, bringing production of the whiskey back to the town after a break of sixty years.
Click here for more: www.tullamoredew.com
Gosling Gifts and Games is the brain child of one woman – Mary Gosling. At the age of just 19, Mary opened a tea room for summer visitors overlooking the beach near her family home in West Cork. During the winter months, Mary would work in London, and it was there that she met her husband Graham.
Since then, Mary and Graham now have a thriving family- run business firmly rooted on the coast of West Cork. The business sells a series of Irish-themed jigsaw puzzles, greeting cards, tea towels, mugs and fridge magnets, working alongside these artists to create vibrant imagery to bring their initial ideas to life.
Click here for more: www.goslinggames.ie
Olde Shillelagh Stickmakers is a family business which thrives in the small village of Shillelagh, in the heart of Ireland. Nestled in a valley in the mountainous county of Wicklow, Shillelagh is a pure example of Irish architecture and living.
Liam O Caidhla has been making sticks for years, with the skill having been in his family since before the time of his great-grandfather Denis.
The sticks are crafted from locally sourced Blackthorn and come in many varieties, with most sticks also available with customisation.
Click here for more: www.oldshillelagh.com
Bog Buddies is a family run business based in the Westmeath, born in 2009. The manufacturing element of the business in run in Athlone, while the framing, customisation and distribution element is run from The Claypipe Visitor Centre in the village of Knockcroghery in Co. Roscommon.
Products include a turf ‘Little Piece of Ireland’ in a frame to various other customisable house warming and weddings gifts.
Click here for more: www.bogbuddies.com
Celtic Rocking Horses is a small family run business offering a personal and friendly service. They have unrivalled experience in the making of rocking horses which are hand carved from oak, beech, ash, mahogany, teak or tulip wood.
Any Tynan, head craftsman, is a skilled woodcarver and woodturner who uses the traditional skills of the timber artisan and has a lifetime of experience working with new and antique pieces.
Each horse is a once in a lifetime investment to become a treasured friend and a truly individual heirloom for any family.
Click here for more: www.celticrockinghorses.com
Paddy Smyth is the owner of Smyth Knives which creates hand made knives.
Having worked as a chef for a number of years and with training as a butcher, he has used his expertise to improve the design and functionality of his knives.
All knives are hand made from blanks of various steels, planks of hard woods and full hides of leather, and clients range from individual collectors to clients who who are looking for a knife for a particular function – perfect for hunters, fishermen and gift collectors looking for something unique.
Click here for more: www.smythknives.com
Founded in 2016, Lough Gill Brewery restored the lost tradition of brewing in Sligo town that once hosted 5 breweries.
An independent family-run craft brewery situated in Sligo close to the shores of Lough Gill on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, the team is passionate and takes pride in each beer they brew.
Their philosophy is to brew the best hand crafted beers using the best ingredients and where possible to add some local indigenous ingredients to the brews.
Click here for more: www.loughgillbrewery.com
Irish Pens is run by Richard and Catherine Daly from Kells, Co Cavan.
They make gifts that have a unique link to Ireland, with each of their pens being crafted from Irish wood that pays homage to Ireland’s literary heritage and acknowledges the purity of the country’s ecological landscape.
Woodworking runs in Richard family, while Catherine brings artistic flair for style and colour to the pens and their packaging.
Click here for more: www.irishpens.ie
Karen Lavelle founded the Dundalk-based Soilse Candle Company in 2013 after living in New York for 11 years in the fashion industry working in companies such as Gap.
She named her candle company Soilse because that’s the Irish for brightness or light. Karen takes her inspiration for the scent of her candles from nature or the outdoors. All candles in its Irish candle and Apothecary Collections are lovingly hand poured and made from 100% soy wax, infused with a unique blend of essential oil based fragrances that are all naturally produced and environmentally friendly.
Click here for more: www.www.soilsecandlecompany.ie
Áine Mc Donald, a Monaghan native, opened her Irish-centred, earth- friendly gift shop in 2021. Bringing thoughtful, artistic and exquisite products to the town of Castleblayney, Áine has married her therapeutic background as a psychotherapist with her love for Irish craft.
Áine has creating a space that invites people to be mindful and enjoy the pleasure of wandering this mini utopia of art, craft, self-care – and to enjoy the excitement of choosing unique and thoughtful gifts to spread the love, protect the earth and support innovative Irish business.
Click here for more: www.craftyonline.ie
Promoting over 160 years of craftsmanship, Belleek Pottery is located in the quaint village of Belleek in Co. Fermanagh on the banks of the River Erne.
Established in 1857, Belleek Pottery holds a very special place in Ireland’s cultural and commercial heritage. Producing more than 100,000 pieces of pottery annually, passing through 16 pairs of hands, Belleek has opened its doors by giving you the chance to buy their special pieces online. The Belleek Group comprises world renowned gift and tableware brands of Belleek Classic, Belleek Living, Galway Irish Crystal and Aynsley China.
Click here for more: www.belleek.com
The Donegal Natural Soap Co. was set up by Isobel Sangha in 2010 when her son, then aged two was at the peak of a painful battle with atopic eczema.
Recognising a need for natural products which were kind to skin, and with her past studies and work in engineering and biomed, the business was born. Starting with a simple unscented oatmeal soap crafted from larder ingredients, the business grew and now various soaps, shampoos and creams which are all made in Glenties, Donegal.
Click here for more: www.donegalnaturalsoap.ie
Kit for ‘Let’s catch the butterfly’ Sculpture.Gloria Perry’s studio is nestled between the Donegal Hills and Rolling Tyrone landscape where she lives with her husband, family and lots of farm animals. These peaceful surroundings inspire her to produce bespoke textile sculptures for home and garden.
An experienced Art & Design teacher of almost 30 years Gloria’s energy and enthusiasm for sharing her passion with others is infectious.
Click here for more: www.urneycreations.co.uk
Déirdre Keough is a Northern Ireland-based painter and jeweller. Her work offers an insight into her instinctive response to space, mood and fluidity.
She makes a variety of jewellery pieces, bu we are particularly taken with the silver hurl necklace available on dananncrafts.com (another website which stocks a variety of Irish crafts, art and souvenirs!)
Click here for more: www.dananncrafts.com
Alistair R is an independent premium jewellery brand based in Down, Northern Ireland.
Through their emphasis on simple, timeless design they create uniquely beautiful pieces imbued with history. Every one of the designs aims to capture the alchemy and unique character of hand selected gem and semi precious stones.
Click her for more: www.alistairr.co.uk
The Belfast Coffee Co is a family-based business specialising in small-batch, infused coffee.
By maintaining the Belfast coffee tradition and refining it coffee to represent the modern Belfast taste profile, Belfast coffee is still today, expertly roasted in the shadow of two yellow gantry cranes ‘Samson’ (804 tonnes) and ‘Goliath’ (760 tonnes) that dominate the Belfast skyline.
Click here for more: www.belfastcoffee.com
Derry Nice Things was started almost by chance back in 2015. Having always loved vintage travel posters and being a proud Derry man, owner Ryan set out one day to search high and low for one from my home town to hang on my walls at home.
He soon realised that these prints were extremely difficult to come by so he set about creating his own. The first few designs proved very popular with family and friends so he began working on a variety of scenes which were special to him.
Prints range from Derry Girls characters (pictured) to father’s day greeting cards and scenery of local areas.
Click here for more: www.derrynicethings.com