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 could be the difference between ensuring we have shops to go back to when the pandemic ends or the creation of ghost towns.
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
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
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
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
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 (ifihome.ie and Volta.ie, respectively), offering the best independent and homegrown feature films and documentaries. The Light
Two-Year Project To Examine Long-Term Outlook For Guide Dog Use
Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) has announced a new partnership with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) to embark on an in-depth, two-year research study to examine the long-term outlook for guide dog use in the United States and Canada.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201021005166/en/
Courtesy of Guide Dogs for the Blind
This first-of-its-kind study seeks to determine why guide dog ownership is much more prevalent among people who are blind or visually impaired in the United Kingdom, compared to the United States and Canada. To do this, GDB will gather data from those with direct experience with GDB and guide dog schools in Europe.
The study will also include extensive interviews with orientation and mobility (O&M) instructors across North America to assess their training, skills, and knowledge in evaluating whether a guide dog is a viable option for students and clients who are blind or visually impaired. O&M instructors are an important link between people who are blind or visually impaired and the guide dog lifestyle, as they often advise their students about whether a guide dog is right for them as well as help teach O&M skills required to qualify for a guide dog.
“This is the most comprehensive research we’ve ever been a part of, and we hope its findings will help us remove barriers over the next decade for more new clients to experience the life-changing empowerment that a guide dog can bring to their lives,” said Theresa Stern, vice president of outreach, admissions, and alumni services for Guide Dogs for the Blind. “We’re thrilled to partner with the American Foundation for the Blind, a leader in designing research that leads to impactful policies and practices for people who are blind or visually impaired.”
“This collaboration with Guide Dogs for the Blind underscores AFB’s commitment to evidence-based advocacy intended to empower people who are blind or have low vision,” said Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum, AFB director of research. “We are grateful to partner with such a prestigious and historic organization and look forward to gathering and analyzing data that will ultimately better serve those who are visually impaired and anyone who is vested in providing people with vision loss options for independent travel.”
The two-year study will also take into account projections related to the most common occurrences of visual impairment and anticipated changes in demographics over the next 20 years. Its findings will be published in peer-reviewed research journals and will be presented at conferences focused on blindness.
About Guide Dogs for the Blind
Headquartered in San Rafael, Calif., Guide Dogs for the Blind is more than an industry-leading guide dog school; it is a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. GDB prepares highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or visually impaired. All of its services are provided free of charge. GDB receives no government funding. More than