Sunday, 16 November 2008



Take a look at the map of Inishowen and you will see that at its centre is the town of Carndonagh. Carn Domhnaigh or ‘Cairn of Donagh’ is a thriving market town - and has been for centuries. It is the place that farmers and traders have always come to serve the wider community from Ballyliffin to Culdaff, Gleneely and Moville. The thriving Inishowen Co-op and cattle market still serve the farming community but in today’s economic climate a town needs to serve all the consumer interests of an even larger catchments area. Carndonagh does this.

Driving in on any road, the prosperity of the town is apparent. Carefully planned new developments are still being built even though there is a down turn in the economy. New retail outlets will soon be in place to add the already comprehensive choice of shops. Carndonagh boasts one of the largest community schools in Ireland, which shows just what a large population the town and catchment area has, the last census showed over 2000 people living in the townland alone.

If you are asking yourself how Carndonagh can cater for the Christmas shopper then let us take a trip around town, starting in the Diamond, the fresh looking central point of the town.

The Heel Bar
Situated conveniently next to the Diamond, the Heel Bar knows all too well what men want for Christmas….High visibility jackets, trousers and safety boots. Men like a bargain and when they find out that the whole set costs a credit crunching €44.50, they will insist that they get a set for their birthday too. The bargains don’t stop there either. The shop stocks top of the range brand names such as Gore-Tex and Snickers work wear which will also make the ideal gift. Make sure that Santa doesn’t get left out in the cold either by getting him a key cut at the Heel Bars key cutting counter. Better still get a couple of sets for yourself and the family that will be popping around. No-one likes to be left in the cold. The Heel Bar also stock Alike locks, which allows on key to fit all of the doors of the house. They do free estimates and free fitting as well.

Shoe & Sport Store.
The Shoe and Sport store in the town have plenty of Christmas gifts for every-one. There’s €5 off a wide range of their boots and they have the latest stock just in of team calendars and teddies. These products are highly sought after so don’t leave the shopping until the last minute as stocks are limited. Check out the other bargains in store as they have €10 off a range of their sports shirts of all the top teams like Liverpool and Chelsea.

Hirrells of Carndonagh
Next we come to Hirrells, a shop that is bursting with a huge selection of vital Christmas goodies. As soon as you walk into the shop you are aware of the huge selection of lights and decorations for both indoors and outdoors. Christmas would be a dull place without the shimmering glows on the trees and houses. Talking of trees, Hirrells are selling fabulous fibre optic ones for only €49.00, and because you can use them every year they make fantastic financial sense. If you are decorating the doors, walls and tabletops then Hirrells have a great range of cribs, candles, wreaths and garlands too. Let’s not forget what Hirrells are well known for, they also have a fabulous range of toys for all ages. If you are looking for board games, crafts or techno games for the PSP, Nintendo DS and X Box the Toyland section of the shop is now open.


Branching out a few steps from the Diamond we get to more shops, not all of them are selling products, some are giving us that much needed services that boost to our self confidence and well being.

The Natural Touch Beauty Salon
The Natural Touch Beauty salon on Chapel Street has fantastic offers available from now until Christmas. Fancy a facial or an Indian head massage? Maybe you would enjoy a full body wrap and body massage to get you in the mood for going out to the staff party. Whilst you are enjoying the pampering; why not get a gift voucher from them for a loved one too.

The Loft
Just off of the main road we find a brand new row of shops. The Loft on the New Road in this complex has full beauty and tanning treatment facility for the serious beauty seeker. They offer exclusive Glamma Puss products. There are injectable treatments for wrinkles and a wide range of other services from lip enhancement, mesotherapy, restylane/perlane fillers, facial line smoothing sclerothereapy and cosmetic enhancements. Their next clinic is on the 2nd December, and booking is essential.

Serenity Hair Design by Collette
Don’t forget your hair, the winter weather can be hard on your head insulation. Serenity hair designs in the town are stocking a full range of organic hair colours and mineral products. These are generally more expensive products in the salons but at Serenity they are used at no extra cost to you. There might be time to get a couple of styles in before Christmas and if the man in your life wants a trim them at Colette’s then there are reduced rates (they have less hair after all) On Tuesdays there are special rates for senior citizens too so all of the family can go along


Ryan Carpets
Heading down the Malin road out of the town you will see Ryan Carpets. There’s no better time to roll out the red carpet for your guests over Christmas and the New Year. Ryan carpets also stock a wide range of vinyl and wood flooring for those of us who need a low maintenance, practical surface to mop up the spilt wine and trodden in mince pies that were dropped over the festivities. If you are having friends and family staying over the holidays and would like their stay to be comfortable and luxurious, then a new bed and bedroom furniture might be on the cards. Just make sure they are not too comfortable, you don’t want them staying too long after the New Year…

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