The countdown to a very different kind of Christmas is well and truly on, and given everything that’s happened in 2020, local business could really use our help this Christmas.

Irish shoppers are the biggest international online shoppers, and those numbers have risen again during the lockdown period as local shops have had to close their doors. So this Christmas more than ever is the time to get behind local businesses to help get them back on their feet.

We’ve put together some ideas from local businesses for your Christmas shopping, and we hope you find some inspiration in our suggestions!

Some you can support online from afar, others you can just pop into. Happy Christmas!


Give the gift of choice and keep it local with Shop Local Gift Vouchers

Ballina Chamber Shop Local Vouchers can be exchanged in over 60 local businesses in Ballina for a  variety of goods and services with  restaurants, hotels, gift stores, gyms, hair and beauty salons, clothes shops and many more involved – you’ll be amazed with the selection! Available in denominations of €10, €25 and €50, they have no expiry date, nor is there a commission charged to either users or business owners.

Employers can save 56% on staff rewards by giving employees a Shop Local Gift Voucher instead of cash. Under the Small Benefits Exemption Scheme, company Directors and Employees can receive a non-cash bonus of up to €500 in value on a completely tax free basis each year, making Shop Local Gift Vouchers the perfect Christmas bonus.

Vouchers available to purchase in Ballina Chamber and Tourist Office, Pearse St, Ballina or call (096) 72800. Visit www.ballina.ie


Drink and be merry .. but keep it local!

The Connacht Distillery sits on the banks of the beautiful River Moy where the river widens into the Moy Estuary in Ballina, County Mayo.  Here they distil and barrel-age there spirits in a rural, coastal environment unique to the West of Ireland. They have beautiful Christmas hampers available that include a number of local products, including their award-winning Conncullin Gin.

Phone: +3539674902 / +3539674598 | Visit connachtwhiskey.com

Crossmolina’s Reel Deel Brewery has two gift options – a duo of the iconic Jack the Lad ale and Say Nowt Stout with a special Reel Deel pint glass for €13, or a specially selected pack of six retailing at €25.

Inspired by the richness and beauty of the local area, Reel Deel Brewery, whose name incorporates the Deel River in Crossmolina is a ‘Hoppin’ Mad’ microbrewery, run by Marcus Robinson that produces authentic craft beer from its base in Crossmolina. Try a delicious Irish Blond, a Jack the Lad or a General Humbert Ale in one of the many local pubs and restaurants, or enjoy  it paired with a local dish.

To order, contact marcus@reeldeelbrewery.ie or call +35386 0779391.

Strictly over 18s. Please drink responsibly.

For a gift with a local twist, Nephin Whiskey has an online gift shop with lovely options, including these gorgeous oak whiskey coasters made from Irish Whiskey Barrel Staves – check out their range here.


Ecclesiastical art for your wall!

For a beautiful, handcrafted and special piece, local artists Lucy Butler Art creates beautiful handmade sculptures inspired by the ruins of Irish churches, abbeys and houses. Most of her pieces are limited edition, so your gift is guaranteed to be special, like this piece depicting the cloisters in Moyne Abbey.

Visit: www.lucybutler.ie


Give some Christmas Comfort with Pudding Row

Pudding Row Sligo Christmas Comfort Kit

A seasonal twist on Pudding Row’s classic Comfort Kit featuring artisan produce and homemade Christmas goodies. Perfect gift for all the family. The Christmas Comfort Kit consists of :
• 1lb homemade Christmas Pudding
• 6 Homemade Mince Pies with Brandy Butter
• 4 Homemade Shortbread Biscuits
• 1 jar of Christmas Compote
• 1 jar of Tomato Chutney
• 1 bag of Housemade Granola
• 1 bag of Ariosa Christmas Blend Coffee
• A handwritten Pudding Row Christmas card with a custom message for the recipient.

Call (096) 49794 or visit: www.puddingrow.ie


Skincare saviours from Ella & Jo

100% Made in Ireland, Ella & Jo is a skincare brand created by local ladies Charlene Flanagan & Niamh Ryan and is designed by Make Up Artists & Skin Therapists. Their range includes the cult classic Squeaky Clean Brush Cleanser, handbag staple 3in1 Hyaluronic Skin Mist, – Hydrating Hyaluronic Serum-and for the times we’re in, their Happy Hands, Hand Sanitiser.

Visit: www.ellaandjo.ie

Gift an experience – a Night With Terra Firma

Reach for the stars and discover your wild side in county Mayo’s stunning wilderness and celestial night skies with Terra Firma Ireland, providers of small guided tours in Mayo.

One of Terra Firma Ireland’s really special offerings is their After Dark Experience, where on night hikes or starry safaris, you can learn about the celestial night skies in Ireland’s first International Dark-Sky Park, Mayo Dark Sky Park! Located at Wild Nephin Ballycroy National Park, this is a special place, where a commitment has been made to keeping the skies naturally dark for present and future generations to enjoy these wonders of the night sky.

Call: +35398 41911 | +353 89 240 9015 | Visit: www.terrafirmaireland.com


Self-guidance and direction from The Navigation Coach

Have you been struggling with feeling lost, unorganised and unfocused? Are you carrying around lots of diaries, planners, gratitude journals and habit trackers? It’s time to get you back on track! Life Coach Tara Rafter’s My Life Compass 2021 Diary has become a key tool for many as they navigate this journey of life. Set goals, create habits, motivate yourself and be acsountable. The perfect gift for anyone who wants to find their direction in life.

Visit: www.thenavigationcoach.com


Try something new in 2021 with Iceford Stables

Horse Riding at Iceford Stables, Ballina is something the whole family can enjoy. Iceford Stables is an AIRE-approved, family-run stables situated near Ballina, Co. Mayo,  just 5km from the picturesque holiday village of Enniscrone, Co. Sligo.

Revel in a high-adrenaline beach trek with the family at Enniscrone Beach, trek the countryside back roads or enjoy an indoor arena lesson. If you’re considering going horse-riding in Mayo. Ballina or Enniscrone, be sure to get in touch with Iceford Stables.

Call: +353 (0)96 70776 / 353 (0)87 0555770 | Visit: www.icefordstables.com


What about the gift of genealogy?

The North Mayo Heritage Centre now has gift vouchers for family history now available – an ideal gift for those interested in their roots in North Mayo!

Call: +353 96 31809 | Visit: www.northmayogenealogy.com


A framed print or card from North Mayo …

As we go through these uncertain times, why not send our family & friends an image from North Mayo to spread a little love & cheer this Christmas?

Susa also offers Ballina Christmas cards with a high quality gloss finish featuring themagnificent St. Muredach’s Cathedral and the famous Jackie Clarke Collection.

Call +35387 2581374 or DM Suas Drones on Facebook for orders (limited supply).


The Best of Ballina!

Ballina Blooms are delighted to have teamed up with the ladies from Ella & Jo Cosmetics & Noo chocolates to create this perfect Christmas gift box.

A luscious mix of colourful pink blooms, presented in a stunning white gift box, with a bottle of @ellaandjocosmetics (can’t live without) 3 in 1 mist, & a delectable box of (the nicest chocolates I have ever tasted),Noo Chocolates €99

Call +35386 8382692 or Message Ballina Blooms Facebook Page.


Give a Mount Falcon Experience

It’s not just a hotel; it’s a place to enjoy incredible experiences. Afternoon tea (with or without bubbles!), a fishing experience, a journey with a hawk on your gloved fist through the beautiful, indigenous woodlands of the Mount Falcon Estate. Or some luxury Elemis products from the spa.

Check out your options here: www.mountfalcon.com


Send a box of joy from the Banks of the Moy to someone far from home

Now, you can gift someone you love (or yourself!) the beauty of our town with your Box of Ballina – a selection hand-picked treats from the banks of the river Moy.

Priced at €40, each Box of Ballina contains:

Kaffa Coffee ‘Wake Up Call’ or Dave’s Deli ‘Signature Blend | Noo Chocolates | Fionn’s Finest Pure Honey | Belleek Castle’s ‘Drunken Bullock’ Spice Mix | A quarter of Traditional Boiled Sweets from Timmy’s | Soy Candle Melts by Tessa | Christmas Card image of St. Muredach’s Cathedral Or The Jackie Clarke Collection by Suas Drones | Postcard image of River Moy & Cathedral.

Presented in a high quality Keepsake Box finished with a bow

Call: +35387 7542506


For the golfer in your life – a one-hour Custom Fit Session with Eddie Treacy Golf

Every golfer can get more out of their clubs by getting them properly fitted. Getting fitted involves several steps and factors from interview to static fit to dynamic fit all explained in a no nonsense easy to understand manner.

Since there is no industry standard on the majority of golf club specifications the only way to be sure you have the correct clubs is to get a personal fitting. Every club in your bag, from driver to putter, should be fitted for you. Driver Fitting sessions generally take between 45 – 60 minutes. 

Iron Fitting sessions generally take between 45 – 60 minutes. It would be time well spent. The cost of a fitting session is €50 which is fully redeemable against the cost of the product within 30 days.

Eddie Tracey Golf has an indoor swing room fitted with the Flightscope X3 to optimise your custom fitting experience. Contact Eddie for more details.

Visit: www.eddietraceygolf.com.


Tempt a loved one to try stand up paddling with Harbour Sup n Sail

The end of the wintery months and a return to the summer can’t come quick enough, so why not give them something to look forward to?

Harbour SUP n Sail is dedicated to SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding). The company has two bases at The Quay Ballina Co. Mayo and Enniscrone Pier, Co. Sligo. Both locations offer a full range of boards and paddles to suit all abilities. All of Harbour Sup n Sail’s instructors are ASI/ISA qualified and hold current first aid and rescue qualifications. Stand up paddling in Enniscrone & Ballina is a great way to see and explore our area in the fresh air as well as getting a new perspective on our landscape!

Mikee posts regular updates and fabulous photos on Facebook so make sure to check them out there.

Visit: www.harboursupsail.com.  | Call:  +353 (0)86 0315737


A textile treat or foodie delight from Foxford Woollen Mills

Foxford Woollen Mills produces some of the world’s finest weaves, using traditions passed down through generations. The iconic Foxford blankets, scarves and throws are produced by master craftsmen who work in a mill that has survived for over 100 years and is one of the last working mills in Ireland.

Also there brand New Seasonal Hampers are available online! They contain Foxford Jams & Foxford Chutney – Foxford Marmalade or Pickled Pears. The ideal stocking filler.

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Visit: www.foxfordwoollenmills.com


Sustainable, ethical, Pure Clothing

Pure Clothing is building a stylish and modern clothes brand using sustainable supply chains and eco- friendly materials. created by locals Peter Timlin and Richard Grimes, the products are made to last while also trying to achieve a circular economy, and the garments are mainly comprised of organic cotton that is free from any chemicals. This is complemented with recycled polyester produced from recycled bottles and is set between two layers of organic cotton to avoid any form of skin irritation.

Production of the garments is 100% sweatshop free and Fair Wear approved, meaning workers receive a fair wage and are provided with fair working conditions. There products are PETA approved, certifying them as vegan friendly. The labels are made using a 100% recycled polyester yarn and these are also sewn on with a 100% recycled polyester thread! The designs are embroidered by a wind powered, sweatshop free factory in Co. Mayo.   

Visit: Pure Clothing & Instagram | Call: +35387 297 1367


Books for little ones

Two local authors, two great books for smallies.

Join Little Red Head, Mini Miss and their Mammy and Daddy on their travels around the Island of Ireland – and along the Great Western Greenway. Read along as Little Red Head explores and discovers forest, bog, rivers, bays and much much more.  The Little Red Head books are a family read to ignite the wonder of exploration of Ireland.  Come along with Little Red Head and discover the heritage and culture of the Island of Ireland. Have this stunning adventure delivered straight to your door step, signed by the author Gemma McLoughlin. Enjoy the adventures of Little Red Head as you discover the West of Ireland. Price includes p&p.

Buy here: www.mammyredhead.com

An ideal stocking filler for young family members, join Sarah on her journey in A Splash in the Sun as she learns the Secret Simple Swimming Skills. All this while enjoying an exciting family holiday in the sun. This is local swimming teacher Maeve Grimes’ first book and it’s sure to be a hit with water babies everywhere. Buy here on Amazon or locally in Easons Ballina, or Keane’s Shop, The Quay.

Visit: www.littleswimmerz.com

Hotel and Spa Offerings

Hotels in Mayo North

A voucher for an overnight stay is always a welcome gift. A fairytale getaway at Belleek Castle, a family break at the Twin Trees Hotel & Leisure Centre (with 15% off) or a getaway by the sea at the Ocean Sands Hotel in Enniscrone?

Or what about a treatment at Chill Spa at the Ice House, Afternoon Tea overlooking the River Moy in Ballina Manor Hotel, or lunch and a treatment in Éidín Spa at the Great National Hotel Ballina?


Have we left anything out? Got an idea of your own you’d like to share? Leave a comment or reply beneath!

Happy Christmas to all our followers.