The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm, changing our day-to-day plans and awakening us to the awareness of what is truly important. We are forced to innovate to find ways to maintain our interactions and connections, and some would argue that this global situation will ultimately have the effect of strengthening our ties to others.

So many businesses have been affected by this unprecedented situation, with mom-and-pop shops and large corporations alike subject to local, county, and state regulations regarding safe operations. Additionally, many businesses are showing resiliency in how they operate, as well as compassion in how they treat their workers and the general public.

Tipperary Irish Importers

Tipperary Irish Importers

With COVID-19 making its presence strongly felt in Europe and North America in early-to mid-March of this year, the Irish in these areas were disappointed to see the cancellation or postponement of many St. Patrick’s Day parades and other events celebrating Irish heritage. While these changes were certainly necessary and made with willing generosity of spirit, they have had a particularly strong effect on businesses that patrons frequent during what revelers refer to as St. Patrick’s Month.

Local Irish stores in North America typically see a boom in business in March. This year, there was only a very short, modest boom. Additionally, many Irish stores offer products that are very popular for Easter, First Communions, and Mother’s Day, and so their sales could suffer during these seasons, as well.

Fortunately, following in the tradition of their forebears, Irish store owners don’t take setbacks lying down! As anyone who has visited a locally-owned-and-operated Irish store knows, the Irish store is the beating heart of any Irish community abroad. Shop owners take their responsibility seriously: they are purveyors not only of a product but of a connection to heritage. Those who work at Irish stores spend countless hours cultivating their inventory and their relationships with Irish craftspeople, whose creative stories they share with those who visit their stores. Irish stores frequently host and sponsor events in their local communities to provide a forum for learning about and celebrating Irish culture.

Mucros Weavers - one example of fine Irish craftspeople

Mucros Weavers - one example of fine Irish craftspeople

If you are inclined to support local Irish stores to help them weather this storm—and, through them, support Irish craftspeople and makers—now is the perfect time! Help your local Irish store continue doing what it does best: serving as an outpost of Irish culture in your area. This interactive, searchable directory of Celtic stores will help you locate your nearest Irish store. You might find that the shop offers curbside pickup, local delivery, online shopping, and community-building opportunities that will help you strengthen that all-important connection to home.

When we all come out of this crisis, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we felt more closely connected with family, friends, and heritage than we did before? Irish shop owners are on the front lines of forging these connections. Why don’t you join them?

Celtic Aer

Celtic Aer

Contributed by Maura Grace Harrington Logue, PhD

Find the nearest NACTA Irish & Celtic Store to you across the USA and Canada on IrishCentral's store locator

Support the great NACTA Irish / Celtic Stores below, for the best collections of jewelry from Boru, Celtic Knot Works, and Solvar; clothing from Mucros Weavers, Lee Valley Ireland and Guinness; and IRELAND brand clothing from the James Trading Group. Each has an online presence as well. 

East Coast:

Irish Traditions

141-143 Main Street Annapolis, MD 21401

Website: irishtraditionsonline.com

Donegal Square   

534 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018  

Website: donegalsquare.com

Faith & Begorra

40 Broadway, Denville, NJ 07834

Website: faithandbegorra.com

(The) Danu Gallery

39 E. Central Avenue, Pearl River, NY 10965

Website: facebook.com/danugallery

Celtic Aer Gift Shop

1451 Strawberry Rd., Mohegan Lake, NY 10547

Website: celticaer.com

Tipperary Importers / Basic Irish Luxury

Three stores:

Tipperary, 3956 State Highway 2, Brunswick NY 12180

Tipperary, 22 Clifton Country Rd, Clifton Park NY 12065

Basic Irish Luxury, 127 Swinburne Row On Thames Street Newport RI 02840

Website: shoptipperary.com

Celtic Treasures

456 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Website: shop.celtictreasures.com/

Central USA

The Celtic Ranch

404 Main Street, Weston, MO 64098

Website: celticranch.com

Failte Imports

113 South Upper Street, Lexington, KY 40507

Website: lexirish.com

O’Meara's Irish House

3970 Highway 42, Fish Creek, WI 54212

Website: omearasirish.com

Iht 600x300px with button2