What makes an ‘Irish hat’ Irish?


A chara, – I read with great interest your article “Milliners thriving despite the competition from cheap imports” (Business, November 16th).

As manager of a small hand-weaving and garment-making operation in Donegal, I wholeheartedly concur with what Eleanor Hanna had to say regarding cheap imports masquerading as Irish-made.

This is an issue that has caused us no small amount of annoyance over the years, and seems to be an ever-increasing problem. I strongly feel that all products should, by law, carry a label clearly stating the country of manufacture, especially those marketed as “Irish”. It greatly saddens me when tourists proudly show me their “Irish” purchases and I know that they have been duped by what I and another Irish manufacturer have dubbed the “national lie”. I would like to thank Eleanor Hanna, and The Irish Times, for so honestly highlighting this issue, which I feel has had a serious negative impact on the Irish textile industry.

Fortunately we have a following of discerning customers who can differentiate between genuine Irish products and goods marketed as Irish. This leads me to believe that there is a positive future for real Irish-manufactured textile goods, and I wish Eleanor and the Hanna family continued success in the future. – Yours, etc,



Studio Donegal,

Kilcar, Co Donegal.