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Buy Irish Resources

Buy Irish Resources ValueIreland.comOver the years I’ve gathered a series of useful links here on the website. including blog posts, articles and resources related to multiple Buy Irish campaigns. These were gathered together on my Buy Irish Resources Page.

I was reminded to tidy that “ Buy Irish Page” recently when I read an article published last month on The Journal, Can’t resist the deals at the supermarket? Here’s why we should be buying local.

In response to that article, The Journal posted a poll, Do you make an effort to buy Irish products? Based on feedback I’ve had to some of my articles proposing buying Irish over the years, I was surprised to see a 71% response in favour of people buying Irish.

Lots of times, the response is that people won’t buy Irish because things are just too expensive, or aren’t of sufficient quality. I don’t believe that those factors are always the case now, given some of the amazing products of excellent quality and very good value that are made in Ireland these days.

Why I Buy Irish

As per this article here written a number of years ago, these comments from both of those articles pretty much sum up what we should be looking for when buying Irish:

Personally if a product is Irish and is on par with a non Irish product I will always pick the Irish. However if an Irish product is inferior I would never buy it just because it is Irish, I know that some people do that and that is just promoting mediocrity.

I make my decisions based on a number of factors. I do tend to opt for the Irish option unless it’s prohibitively expensive.

Buy Irish Resources on

Check out this Buy Irish Page. There are a number of interesting articles there that promote why we should be buying local. There’s also an interesting history of links showing the efforts made over the years, now defunct, in trying to encourage consumers to buy more Irish products.


The photographic representation of Grocery Shopping

This article today in The Irish Times by Lucy Kellaway, The photographic fiction of women at work, reminded me of a draft blog post that I put together some time ago, where I posed a similar question regarding what grocery shopping looked like through photographic representations.

In her article, Ms. Kellaway, asks “what do women look like at work?”, and states:

even though people endlessly write and think and talk about women at work, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photograph that captures what real working women actually look like, or what they get up to.

So, what does grocery shopping look like? Here’s a search for “grocery shopping” on Google from earlier this morning:

The photographic representation of Grocery Shopping

It’s only women who do the grocery shopping, I guess.

To paraphrase Ms. Kellaway, even though people endlessly write and think and talk about grocery shopping, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photograph that captures what real people doing their grocery shopping actually look like, or what they get up to.

Apart from the distinct lack of men in the photographs above, look how quiet those shopping aisles are. And, if you look closely, they’re almost entirely lacking in “special offers”, “3 for 2” and all other manner of product pushing we see these days.


99% Invisible – Episode 196 – The Fresno Drop

This history on the origination of credit cards was published by the always interesting podcast 99% Invisible back in January. From the website introducing this podcast episode:

In September 1958, Bank of America began an experiment—one that would have far reaching effects on our lives and on the economy. After careful consideration, they decided to conduct this experiment in Fresno, California. The presumption was that no one was paying much attention to Fresno, so if the plan failed, it wouldn’t get a lot of media attention.

Bank of America sent out 60,000 pieces of mail to people in Fresno. Inside was a little plastic object that has become in equal parts emblematic of opportunity, convenience, and debt.

It was a card offering a $500 line of credit.

Have a listen below.


Whistleblowing in Ireland – an inconvenient threat to management

The GuardianThe quote below is from an article, “The sinister treatment of dissent at the BBC”, written by Nick Cohen and published in The Guardian. To me, it is a perfect description of the threat that senior people in organisations feel from whistleblowers who go public. It’s perfectly obvious in Ireland at the moment that whistleblowers are not seen as people out to do something good for an organisation. Instead, given some recent incidents here, management will mainly see whistleblowers as solely focused on trying to do something to slight management themselves.

But they’re missing the point – they see it as a personal slight because they KNOW that they probably already had the opportunity to do something, but most likely (given everything will have gone public) chose not to.

If whistleblowers are doing their job properly, they’ll already have raised their concerns to that same management. For the concerns to go public, it’s more than likely that management will have spurned the opportunity to do anything constructive or positive to address the concerns.

So, what starts as regular employees, inconveniently for whatever reason to management, doing their job and speaking up and highlighting when something is going wrong, eventually becomes a personal slight on management in charge when that employee doesn’t just stay in their cubicle when ignored / sidelined / silenced / fobbed off first time around.

In the banks, the NHS, the police or the BBC, the greatest threats to those in charge, however, are not threats to the institution but threats to their status. If subordinates can contradict them, how can they justify their salaries and the prestige that goes with them?


Interested in helping create a SayNoTo1890 smartphone app?

If you’re interested in helping out in a project to create a SayNoTo1890 smartphone app in early 2015, please read more here.

Designing an appropriate SayNoTo1890 smartphone app will make it much easier to dial the geographic alternatives for the 1890, 1850 and 0818 numbers, helping you save even more money. It will also facilitate the sharing of information to gather even more geographic alternatives as well as ensure those numbers are always as up to date as possible.

It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for a while now, and a smartphone app for the website is a regularly requested feature from the users of the website.

This detailed blog post over on the website explains how I’d like to go about building this smartphone app, and what assistance I’d like to get and will need to get the app built, hopefully early in 2015.

1 is Now Available Again

If you’ve arrived here looking for the website, please note that because the site was hacked on Saturday, November 22nd, the site and numbers are temporarily available. I’m currently waiting for some technical support in order to be able to rebuild the site.

Given it’s the weekend, I’m afraid I probably won’t be able to get the site rebuilt now before Monday evening.

You can keep up to date on what’s happening through the @SayNoTo1890 Twitter feed. Or you can check back here later as well where I’ll provide updates as well.

UPDATE: Sunday November is now back up and running again. There are some recent updates missing, but the majority of the site is now there again.


Dunnes Stores is the most popular link from the Grocery Special Offers page

I was looValueIreland Grocery Special Offers Pageking at the website stats for this site on the excellent StatCounter website recently, and particularly the listing of the most popular links that visitors follow to go to other sites. It’s no surprise that most of the links that people use are from the ValueIreland Grocery Special Offers page.

What was surprising though, was the fact that the Dunnes Stores link was three times more popular than either of the next stores on the list – Tesco and Lidl. In fact, the numbers selecting the Dunnes Stores link outnumbered those selecting Tesco, Lidl and Aldi put together.

This differs from the market breakdown for the supermarkets in Ireland where as of the end of September, Tesco was still the most popular, marginally ahead of the SuperValu / SuperQuinn combo which didn’t make the top 5 exit links.


B.B. King – Recession Blues

I was going through my music collection recently putting together some party playlists. This, B.B. King – Recession Blues – didn’t get added.


Since this recession I’m losing my baby
Because the times are getting so hard
Yes, since this recession I’m losing my baby
Because the times are getting so hard
Yes, I have to stop running around
Man, you know it’s breaking my heart

Yes, I can’t afford no liquor
All I can buy is beer and wine
Yes, I can’t afford no liquor people
All I can buy is beer and wine
Well I can get my baby what she wants
And she stays cross all the time, yes help me

Yes, please somebody,
Please go out to Washington for me
Yes, please, please somebody
Please go out to Washington for me
Yes, think about us out here
Help me get out of this misery


Bankers Are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer

The death of Seamus Heaney prompted an office discussion last week about poetry, who reads it now, and what we can remember from our school days. For most of us, Heaney hadn’t yet been added to the curriculum when we were learning our Yeats, Wordsworth and Shakespears sonnets.

A few Heaney poems were Googled and read, including the particularly striking “Mid-Term Break“. Out of nowhere though, someone threw Ogden Nash into the mix. Given we work in financial services, a vague memory of a relevant poem by Nash was eventually discovered via Google.

The poem below, originally  published in The New Yorker magazine in December, 1935 reads as if it could have been written yesterday.


This is a song to celebrate banks,
Because they are full of money and you go into them and all
you hear is clinks and clanks,
Or maybe a sound like the wind in the trees on the hills,
Which is the rustling of the thousand dollar bills.
Most bankers dwell in marble halls,
Which they get to dwell in because they encourage deposits
and discourage withdrawals,
And particularly because they all observe one rule which woe
betides the banker who fails to heed it,
Which is you must never lend any money to anybody unless
they don’t need it.
I know you, you cautious conservative banks!
If people are worried about their rent it is your duty to deny
them the loan of one nickel, yes, even one copper engraving
of the martyred son of the late Nancy Hanks;
Yes, if they request fifty dollars to pay for a baby you must
look at them like Tarzan looking at an uppity ape in the
And tell them what do they think a bank is, anyhow, they had
better go get the money from their wife’s aunt or ungle.
But suppose people come in and they have a million and they
want another million to pile on top of it,
Why, you brim with the milk of human kindness and you
urge them to accept every drop of it,
And you lend them the million so then they have two million
and this gives them the idea that they would be better off
with four,
So they already have two million as security so you have no
hesitation in lending them two more,
And all the vice-presidents nod their heads in rhythm,
And the only question asked is do the borrowers want the
money sent or do they want to take it withm.
Because I think they deserve our appreciation and thanks,
the jackasses who go around saying that health and happi-
ness are everything and money isn’t essential,
Because as soon as they have to borrow some unimportant
money to maintain their health and happiness they starve
to death so they can’t go around any more sneering at good
old money, which is nothing short of providential.

Ogden Nash


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