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Post-Christmas clear-out sees unwanted presents find new homes



It’s true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure – and traditionally this is one of the busiest times of the year for charity shops as people donate unwanted Christmas gifts.

You know how it is. You return to your normal routine and realise you have too many make-up brushes, a surplus of body lotions and potions and no room on your book shelves for your newly acquired book gifts. Something’s gotta give.

Unless you’re a hoarder, there’s no choice but to do a clear out and this is where charity shops come into it. Not only will you be re-organising your own house but helping others at the same time.

Other than duvets, most items are acceptable and three of Galway’s four established charity shops reported a busy post-Christmas period .

But despite a national campaign launched by Oxfam before Christmas seeking unwanted Christmas gifts, the Galway shop reported a decrease in donations on this time last year.

It is quite possible that the location of the shop on the edge of the pedestrianised part of Abbeygate Street, which meets Middle Street may be a hindrance to people delivering bags of clothes, bric-a-brac or books to the premises.

Oxfam has over 30 shops on the island of Ireland and has a partnership with Marks and Spencer which means they regularly get end of stock or out of season goods from the company, a factor which attracts a number of regular customers on the look out for bargains.

A spokeswoman for the Oxfam shop locally said that as well as the donations of goods, people also donated cash, which was something that the organisation required if they were to continue their good works in 94 countries across the world.

The tiny shop is choc-a-bloc with clothes for men and women and children of all ages, books, bric-a-brac, CDs, DVDs and at the moment a limited amount of Christmas related goods on discount!

To overcome the access problem for people with goods to donate, Oxfam will collect in and around the city.

Around the corner on Merchants Road there are two charity shops, the Curiosity Shop run by the St Vincent de Paul Society which is one of the longest established of them in the city, and the Irish Cancer Society further along the road which opened a year and a half ago.

The Curiosity Shop is really two shops – one which sells clothes, books and accessories in one large space and a furniture shop next door.

A volunteer in the furniture shop said there was a great run on three-piece suites – the furniture shop run by the Simon Community in Briarhill had sold three of its six three-piece suites in the post-Christmas period.

The Curiosity Shop does accept some electrical goods, mostly new ones, but are wary of taking used electrical items.

Aileen O’Mara, the Manager of the Irish Cancer Society Shop, says her rule of thumb with electrical goods is she doesn’t accept anything with an element in it, unless of course it is a brand new item still in its box.

Her outlet has been very busy this year, something she puts down to most families having been touched by cancer in some way.

And like the Curiosity Shop, it’s location on a two-lane road is quite accessible, which no doubt contributes to its success.

Aileen and her team of volunteers were run off their feet since opening on Friday after Christmas with the number of donations being left into the shop. Their problem is storage. Everything has to be sorted in a room off the shop floor, though as the shop was quite busy with customers, some of the items, especially baby clothes, were being sold almost as soon as they were put on display.

In their case, a number of local businesses donate which guarantees a limited selection of new goods at discounted prices.

“We have had great support since we opened in May 2013 and it’s probably because cancer is close to a lot of peoples hearts and they know the money raised through the shops goes to cancer research and towards paying for the Daffodil nursing care service,” she adds.

The rails and shelves of her shop, which employs two people including Aileen and is operated thanks to a team of volunteers, were full to the brim this week as they were being replaced almost as soon as they were being emptied.

The second Simon shop is located on the Sea Road and is probably the city’s second longest established charity shop.

Connacht Tribune

Supply chain challenges in retail




There has been a huge demand for consumer products in 2020 and 2021. Covid-19 has resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before. Lockdown especially saw all non-essential workers previously confined to their homes. Investing in goods such as clothing, electronics and furniture was one of the few ways that people could spend their discretionary income from the comfort of their own homes. However, this major spike in consumer purchasing is only one of many challenges that the retail industry is currently facing.

Every retailer and consumer across the globe is being affected by rising costs and frustrating delivery delays and this, unfortunately, includes  EZ Living Furniture. As Ireland’s most loved and well-known furniture retailer, we wanted to help our customers understand the issues the entire retail industry is currently facing and will continue to face for some time by outlining the order fulfilment process to you.

Supply Chain explained

March 2020:

Many suppliers (including EZ Living Furniture) source their products from overseas. When Covid-19 first struck in the Far East in March 2020, illness and a lessened workforce lead to a dramatic decrease in production. When those countries entered lockdown, supply stopped coming from the Far East entirely.

April 2020:

When these countries began to recover and started to exit lockdown, Europe, unfortunately, went into lockdown. Because we were unable to sell stock to the same capacity, we stopped ordering from these countries.

June 2020:

Customers began ordering products again, but only online as all of the physical stores in Europe were closed. It took us, and many other European businesses a number of weeks to come to terms with the new working from home arrangements and the redirection of resources towards the increase in online sales that occurred subsequently.

November 2020:

Product manufacturers and raw material manufacturers in Europe were still closed due to the pandemic. This meant materials and products were not being produced in Europe at all.

This caused major issues with supply and production. For instance, foam is one of many materials used to make mattresses, dining chairs, and sofas. When this is in short supply, so too is the furniture that uses foam.

Hospitals around the globe began ordering thousands of containers of PPE. With no warehouses to store these essential healthcare items, they remained in the containers at ports. This lead to congestions at ports and a shortage of shipping containers worldwide.

Shipping ports closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in ports.

March 2021:

The Suez Canal was blocked by a container vessel for six days. This put further strain on supply chains that were already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

October 2021:

We are still continuing to suffer from the lack of containers. This is causing a rise in transportation and raw material costs. Deliveries to customers are also now taking longer than usual.

What are we doing to resolve this?

Stores like us are working even harder to ensure that customers receive the same products in the same time frame and at the same price-point that was in place before the pandemic. Any solution to this supply chain problem is not perfect. Prioritising faster delivery will inevitably lead to higher costs while focusing on lowering product prices will inevitably delay delivery times.

Alternatives and long-term solutions are being explored such as supply chains in eastern Europe. However, this is a time-consuming process primarily due to quality control and logistics.

What you need to know

Already this year, we have had to increase our stock levels to try to compensate for any future delivery delays. Until now, we have been absorbing the increases in transportation costs and raw materials in order to continue to offer our customers such a wide range of furnishings.

Unfortunately, due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, stock is going to be limited, especially during certain holiday periods. Prices may also have to be increased again in the future with smaller companies likely to be affected to an even greater degree. We want to be completely transparent with our customers and make you all aware that our promotions listed below may be the last chance for you all to purchase EZ Living Furniture items at such low prices.

So, don’t wait to buy that EZ Living Furniture Item you have been eyeing and prioritise our in-stock items. The products available in all retail stores now could sell out and take a long time to return to stock. Shipping delay issues could also mean you are waiting months to receive your items.

Although we are uncertain as to how long these global supply-chain issues will last, we aim to keep you updated at all times. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.

For any queries regarding your order, please contact our Customer Service team by phone, email or live chat:

Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5:00pm

Phone: 0818 222 272

Customer Service Email:

Website Enquiries Email:


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Connacht Tribune

A Moycullen win would add badly needed spice to football’s big day



Conor Reddington of Annaghdown and Tuam Stars' Adam Carton in action during the North Board Minor B football final at Tuam Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

BEFORE a ball was kicked in this year’s Galway senior championship, the smart money would have been on champions Corofin, Tuam Stars, Salthill/Knocknacarra and Mountbellew/Moylough making it to the semi-finals if they managed to keep out of each other’s way on the road to the penultimate stage off the title race.

Unfortunately, for a Salthill team which, in any event, didn’t scale their expected heights this year, they came up against the champions in the quarter-finals where the Seasiders’ challenge was dismissed in convincing fashion. It was business as usual for Corofin who remain odds on to claim a record-breaking eighth consecutive title.

With Tuam Stars edging out Bearna after extra-time, a Paul Kelly goal helping Moycullen get the better of St James’, and Mountbellew/Moylough powering home against 14-man Killannin, it means that three of last year’s semi-finalists are back seeking a place in the Galway decider this weekend. Mountbellew/Moylough are the odd ones out having fallen to Corofin in the 2019 quarter-finals.

Val Daly’s troops will need the performance of the lives to overturn club’s football’s dominant power, especially as they continue to field without county player John Daly – a son of their manager. Of course, they are not without a chance and if the likes of Michael Daly, Matthew Barrett, Eoin Finnerty, Eoin Ryan and Barry McHugh hit the ground running, they could give Corofin a searching time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Greens see red on gold rush



Opposition is intensifying to the prospect of a licence being awarded to Canadian gold prospectors planning to explore the heart of Connemara.

Environmental campaigners have warned of the dangers of awarding a prospecting licence to Toronto-based MOAG to mine for gold and silver in land around Roundstone, Ballyconneely and Ballynahinch.

They claim the exploration could devastate water supplies, tourism, wildlife – and also led to tensions in the local community.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton has indicated he intends to grant a prospecting licence to the company to explore for the valuable minerals in townlands in Ballynahinch Barony.

The licence allows the holder to explore for mineral deposits, and does not authorise mining of any materials that are found – that requires further licensing.

And Minister Bruton’s Department insists that the activities permitted under this licence are “non-invasive” and “of minimal environmental impact”.

However, campaigners have warned of the dangers mining can have on Connemara, and have urged the public to object before July 6.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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