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Government ministers will gift Irish wool garments, including blankets and scarves, to dignitaries overseas during the week of St Patrick’s Day as part of a campaign to promote Irish wool.

The Irish Grown Wool Council (IGWC), formed in April 2023, is seeking to transform Irish wool into a branded value-added product for the benefit of primary producers and the wider supply chain.

The wool for these throws and scarves was spun by Donegal Yarns, Kilcar, Co. Donegal, knitted by Bonner of Ireland, Ardara, Co. Donegal, with the IGWC logo embroidery added by council member Alison Gault at the Belfast School of Art, Ulster University.

Eamonn Bonner of Bonner of Ireland said:

“We knitted the throws and scarves using ‘Irish Heather Yarn’ from Donegal Yarns, which has 60% fine Irish wool, sourced from farms across the island of Ireland, blended with 40% New Zealand wool. “The emerald green scarves have been knitted in a traditional cable stitch and the white woollen throws have been knitted in a combination of heritage stitches, reflecting the care and craftsmanship of our local creative industries.”

Chris Weiniger, general manager at Donegal Yarns, stated:

“This is an all island industry-led campaign, which demonstrates that the supply chains exist and have the capability to be scaled up. A natural, indigenous and sustainable resource, wool is naturally antibacterial, hypo-allergenic and temperature regulating, as well as being sustainable, renewable and compostable. Wool related businesses all over Ireland are starting to work closer together now, from farm to yarn, to research and development.”

Catherine Phibbs, interim chair at IGWC, said:

“This is a significant opportunity to showcase Irish grown wool to the world”

Ministers who will be bringing these products with them on their trips include:

  • Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue (visiting Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Sudan);
  • Minister of State for land use and biodiversity Pippa Hackett (visiting Finland, Estonia, and Latvia);
  • Minister of State for new market development Martin Heydon (visiting Germany);
  • Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan (visiting Brazil);
  • Minister of State for nature, heritage and electoral reform Malcolm Noonan (visiting Poland and Romania);
  • Minister of State for public procurement, communications and circular economy Ossian Smyth (visiting South Korea);
  • Minister of State for skills and further education Niall Collins (visiting the cities of Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the US).

Thanks to Business Plus Magazine, Agriland Media and the Irish Farmers Journal for featuring this story.


💻 Business Plus Magazine

💻 Agriland Media

💻 Irish Farmers Journal

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