Ice Cream Economics – Ronaldo or Anglo Irish?

Photo from Independent

Now I know I’m just an ice cream man and not an economist, but I think I might have the answer to Ireland’s economic woes. As everyone knows, Christiano Ronaldo has been sold to Real Madrid for £80 million. Sounds a huge amount, doesn’t it?

Photo from RTE
Photo from RTE

However, at the same time we, the Irish taxpayer, are going to pump €4 billion into Anglo Irish bank. Which is more foolish?

Now here’s a better idea. What if we took the €4 billion and bought football players? With 10 teams in the League of Ireland top division, and 11 first team players, we could spend an average of €36 million per player.

We’d have the best players in the world playing in our first division. Think of the tourism benefits! Think of the TV revenues and ticket sales! Think of the boost to places like Sligo and Drogheda! We could contractually make the players endorse Irish products, which would boost exports. And 110 millionaires coming into Ireland might even help the property market.

This may all sound very silly, but then, so does bailing out a dubious bank. At the very least my idea would be far more enjoyable.

I’ll go back to making ice cream now.

Pride of Place

bluebellfalls We have a scooping cabinet going into Dublin for the first time, and we’re planning an ice cream party to help launch it. (If you live in Dublin and love our ice cream, keep Friday the 19th late afternoon free, and stay tuned!)


We’ve been thinking a lot about what to offer in terms of ice cream, and it seems to me that the theme should be “Pride of Place.” There are so many good foods and food (and drink) producers here, that we’re going to take a few Irish foods and drinks and turn them into ice creams. Especially in these uncertain times, highlighting the Irish produce we love seems only a good thing (more about that here). 

Anyway, here are the flavours we have talked about:

* Bluebell Falls Goats cheese with honey and thyme
* Chocolate with Kilbeggan whiskey
* Lorge chocolate truffle
* Porterhouse Brain Blásta beer
* Eden Apple brandy with Irish apples
* Irish coffee
* McCambridge’s brown bread
* Connemara seaweed (possibly with Irish salmon)
* Barry’s Gold Blend Tea
* Guinness
* Bailey’s

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R.I.P. 308

 I heard some sad news from Colm, the farmer who delivers us our Kerry Cow Milk, and that is that one of his Kerry cows, the one in the photo above, has died suddenly a week after giving birth. She was known as 308, not the prettiest name, perhaps, but she was a pretty cow, and I had many photos of her. 

It’s easy to forget, when there’s milk coming in, that there are animals behind it all, and so today I’ll lift a cone to the memory of the pretty 308.

An Irish Treasure

 I’m back from Galway, where I went for the relaunch party of McCambridge’s fantastic food emporium on Shop Street in the city centre. They have redone the shop, and it looks fantastic (and I’m not just saying that because there is a Murphys Ice Cream scooping cabinet in the heart of it). Galway is always wonderful, and between the Volvo Ocean Race and the party, there was an extra-special buzz.

McCambridges is a Galway stop that no foodie should miss, and it is well worth a detour. The McCambridge family’s love of food is obvious, and their pride in Irish foods is inspiring, with loads of local treasures and interesting nibbles. There is a new cafe and even tables outside to savour their delicacies.

There are few retail businesses in Ireland that blow me away, and this third generation business is one of them. Check it out!

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A June Bank Holiday to Remember

inchsmall After a cold and rainy May, summer has arrived, and what an arrival it has been. Today was a day warmer than any in 2008. and I certainly don’t remember one as warm in 2007. The beaches were packed, the sun hats and shorts were out, and people were smiling more than I’ve seen in months.

In Dingle, sand from Ventry and Wine Strand came in with sun-kissed customers, and the mood was relaxed in a way that only happens when expectations of a holiday are exceeded. In Killarney, locals wandered around Main Street as if lost in their own town – a place already beautiful but transformed by sunshine and heat into the South of France, perhaps, or some place just as pleasant. 

These perfect days are not the busiest in our shops, as people leave town to make the most of the weather. We, however, don’t mind at all, for the sunshine brings out all of the splendour of Kerry, and those who experienced it will spread the word and return themselves. Best of all, however, was that a bank holiday like this was a great gift for a country struggling with difficult times. For these few days at least, people forgot their worries and remembered just how very good life can be.