Recession sparks charity shop boom
CARNDONAGH with a
population of less than 1,700 now has EIGHT charity
shops as families struggle with the effects of the
The north Inishowen market town was heavily
dependent on the construction industry but has seen
mass unemployment, emigration and the closure of
some long-standing businesses since the downturn.
The local branch of the St Vincent De Paul said many
people are struggling with the cost of living when
food and household bills, government charges, wage
and welfare cuts and higher fuel prices are
factored. Some 20 per cent of the people now going
to the SVP in the county have never had to approach
the charity before.
Donegal St Vincent De Paul vice-president, Kevin
Cooley, said the Carndonagh tally of thrift shops
was "unusually high" but they were clearly needed.
One of Carn's eight charity shops.
"Communities don't put
all their efforts into charity shops if there is no
need for them," said Mr Cooley.
"Over the past two years especially, there has been
a genuine difficulty for families making ends meet.
The majority of these people have been in employment
in recent times and not on welfare but it still
remains that it is single parents, mostly mothers,
who are finding things most difficult."
Carndonagh-based Fianna Fáil TD., Charlie
McConalogue, said the fact that there are eight
charity shops operating in his small, rural
hometown, was a reflection of Ireland as a whole.
"Charity shops are able to sustain themselves in
this climate because more and more people are going
through their doors," said Deputy McConalogue.
"Many people in Donegal were heavily dependent on
construction and with that gone, their household
budgets have been drastically reduced.
“People now have to try and find the items they need
at the lowest possible price." He said the next
Government budget would have to reflect several
recent reports highlighting Ireland's growing