Fire sale: selling the 'oul sod' to an American audience


WHEN GALWAY city man Dermot Ryan attended a family christening last February a DVD of a log fire was playing on a flatscreen TV over the fireplace.

Everyone remarked on the relaxing ambience it created, and Dermot got the idea of an Irish turf fire version.

He had DVDs made in Castlebar, Co Mayo, and packaged them himself. He went to a show in New Jersey where all the Irish and Celtic shops in the US do their buying for the year.

Dianne O’Connor, who owns Creative Irish Gifts, the biggest seller of Irish products in the world, was so impressed by the DVD she asked that it be included in their autumn catalogue.

Three women then came from TV shopping channel QVC, which is beamed into 94 million US homes. He was invited to come on the show and sell the product during a Rose of Tralee special. Just under 2,000 of his DVDs were sold, with more orders coming in through QVC’s online shop.

Most of the DVDs come with peat incense, which evokes the smell of the burning turf.

Dermot’s next goal is to get on to the channel’s St Patrick’s Day show.