What do you suggest to buy when in Dublin that would be something one would not buy in the states? anything specific to Ireland, a good bargain, etc?
Have a look out for Newbridge Silverware. Apart from some really nice jewellery and homeware they also produce lovely Christmas tree ornaments. You can see their range at www.newbridgesilverware.com and find it in good shops like Clery's, Kilkenny Design, House of Ireland etc.
Believe it or not but Irish oven gloves are a hit with American friends of ours! I mean the one long bit of padded fabric with pockets at each end for your hands rather than two separate gloves. These seem to be difficult to find in the US.
I'd suggest that you make some time to go to the Kilkenny design shop, its relatively central in dublin, opposite the side wall of the Trinity college complex on Nassau St, here you will find a lot of Irish crafts, from handbags, jewellery, clothing... There is also an excellent restuarant upstairs for lunch, or coffee stop. One thing I will advise is tht it isn't cheap, a lot of the stock is good quality and the prices can reflect that.
Its always worth dropping into Avoca, its at the junction of Grafton St and Suffolk St, and also has a range of interesting items, while they aren't all Irish you will find some great stuff. As with Kilkenny I'd take time to go upstairs to the cafe, and if you enjoy that its worth your while picking up one of their many cook books.... Go down to the basement and you'll find an excellent deli.
Foodstuffs are normally a good souvenier, and I'd suggest you check out some of the local farmers markets, as you'll find some excellent local produce, cheeses, chocolates, breads, and some local crafts.
For clothes its always worth checking out Penneys, Dunnes Stores, Sasha, for stuff you won't find in the US.
Brown Bread Mix. You can buy it in any supermarket: Dunnes do an own brand, Odlums do a mix. There are others as well.
All your friends do is add water, mix and put it in the oven for about 30 minutes. Voila - a taste of Ireland in their kitchen. You can buy the smaller packets from about 85c or thereabouts.
Tayto Crisps are another thing you can't get.
I have also had to send Cadbury's Crunchies over to friends in the US!! You could try them here (purely for research reasons, wink!!) before deciding to get them as gifts.
Bean... Our friends send us care packages of goodies. Soda Bread, Tayto Crisps, and Penguins. We now can get Penguins here. I send them in my kids' lunch boxes and their friends are hooked. I will have to sample the Cadbury treats next month.
Irish Acapella - I think you might like the Cadbury's chocolate.
We did a tour of the factory in Birmingham in 2002. It was DIVINE... Lots and lots of free bars of chocolate - which with 5 of us meant
L O T S!! You can actually smell the chocolate in the air around the factory.
Alright, bean & irishacapella, you're starting to make me salivate with all this talk about chocolate....and I'm on a diet...trying to lose a few before the holidays & Ireland in March !!!
Alas, I will get my wonderful, wonderful Kunder chocolate / hazelnut bars when I get back in March. Don't know if you can get those in Virginia, gcollins, but do try when in Ireland....scrumptious!!!
Jacobs jaffa cakes and jacobs fig Roll biscuts
Gcollins answering would be unprecedented, but if needs arise, they could get alot of those things there. Try foodireland.com. How about a small piece of turf, real shamrock seeds(not clover), flower seeds(though most will need a similar climate), Irish scenic placemates or an '07 calendar, team jerseys, music cds, a Guinness glass from the source ...Good luck.
OU OU OU, Jaffa Cakes....I had those in London. I didn't know they were also in Ireland. Oh great, another thing to add inches to my hips when I'm over there ;-0
"anything specific to Ireland" ??? Scrumptuous colourful mohairs, linen... I had to kick myself for a tremendous desire to keep buying, and an unfortunate lack of space in my luggage ...