News & Events

Minister Breen officially launches Design Ireland® store at Dublin Airport

New retail venture developed by The Loop and Design & Crafts Council Ireland presents contemporary Irish design and craft to passengers at T2

Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Pat Breen TD today officially launched an innovative new retail space at Dublin Airport showcasing the best of Irish creativity through a curated collection of contemporary work by designers and makers from across Ireland.

The Design Ireland® store is a new travel retail offering operated by The Loop, with the store name brand under licence by Design & Crafts Council Ireland. The Loop chose 23 Design Ireland® brands for the initial collection featured in store, with plans to introduce further brands over the coming months.

Design Ireland® is a consumer-facing programme created by Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) to showcase the best of Ireland’s design and craft to audiences all over the world. There are currently 191 individual brands in the overall programme that were selected by an independent jury for their high standards of design and making. Brands are supported by DCCI with opportunities and mentoring to develop their work and their business.

Minister Breen said:

The Design Ireland store showcases the quality and diversity of contemporary Irish design and craft to passengers from all over the world. It provides a huge opportunity for the featured brands to raise their profile internationally and increase sales, maximising the potential for growing their business and further job creation. I would like to commend both The Loop and Design & Crafts Council Ireland on collaborating to develop this unique retail offering at Dublin Airport and wish all those involved in this innovative project every success.”

This new retail concept at The Loop in Terminal 2 offers discerning passengers at Dublin Airport the opportunity to source sustainable, locally made, authentic products across jewellery, ceramics, crystal, gifts, wellness, accessories and apparel. Featured brands include:

  • Chupi, the multi-award winning fashion forward brand founded by Chupi Sweetman in Dublin
  • Criostal na Rinne, the hand-cut crystal studio based in the Gaeltacht na nDéise in Co. Waterford
  • Emblem Weavers, the linen-weaving family business based in Co. Wexford.
  • Hanna Hats of Donegal, the family-run business producing hats in Irish tweeds and linens in Donegal Town.
  • JANDO, the Dublin-based award-winning printmaking studio
  • McConnell Woollen Mills, one of Ireland’s foremost knitwear brands based in Killaloe, Co. Clare
  • Rathbornes 1488, the oldest candle company in the world, established in Dublin in 1488 

Ray Hernan, Chief Executive of Aer Rianta International, which is The Loop’s parent company said:

We are delighted to partner with Design & Crafts Council Ireland to bring the best of Irish design and craft to an international audience. Dublin Airport is Ireland’s gateway to the world with tens of thousands of passengers travelling through Terminal 2 every day and the Design Ireland brands will have great exposure to a wide variety of different customers every day. The connection between our two organisations is very strong as both contribute significantly to Ireland’s economic and cultural development, providing vital employment opportunities across the country.”

Breege O’Donoghue, Chair, Design & Crafts Council Ireland said:

We are proud to be working with the team at Dublin Airport in delivering this exciting initiative in Terminal 2. This innovative new store brings together a beautifully curated selection of the inspiring work from some of Ireland’s best designers and makers. The featured brands reflect the wealth of creative talent we have in this country that we want to showcase globally and the new retail space in The Loop creates a flagship presence for Irish design and craft at Ireland’s primary international airport.” 

DCCI has collaborated on a number of occasions with daa to design and deliver exciting flagship presentations of Irish design and craft at the airport; a jewellery exhibition and demonstration area in 2012, a design and craft exhibition in 2014 and Design Island, a large-scale photographic exhibition celebrating the breadth of Irish creativity during 2015. Each presentation received extremely positive feedback from passengers and helped to create a unique sense of place in the airport terminals.


For further information, please contact FleishmanHillard: 

Astrid Brennan - – 086 215 4883

Michelle Lynch - - 087 968 9016

Notes to editors

About Aer Rianta International

Brief boilerplate to be inserted here.

Aer Rianta International (ARI) is daa’s travel retail subsidiary. ARI manages its own retail outlets at Dublin and Cork airports in Ireland and has interests in travel retail businesses in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. In Ireland, ARI operates its retail business The Loop, at Dublin and Cork airports and also manages a number of retail concessions at the two airports.  Total sales at Dublin and Cork airports, including retail and food and beverage sales by concessionaires, increased to €331 million in 2018. Group turnover in 2018 exceeded $1.2bn and ARI employs approximately 4,500 people in its operation.

About Design & Crafts Council Ireland

Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCI's activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 59 member organisations and more than 3,000 registered clients.

About Design Ireland®

Design Ireland® is a consumer-facing initiative created by DCCI to showcase the best of Ireland’s design and craft to audiences all over the world, connecting them with Ireland’s makers, their studios and their inspiration. There are currently 191 brands in the programme that were selected by an independent jury for their high standards of design and making. These brands are supported by DCCI through a range of opportunities to develop their work and their businesses. The programme is supported by the online platform which discovers and shares the best work created in Ireland for people who want to buy and gift authentic, quality products. Accomplished makers across Ireland are creating craft of the highest quality, and provides visitors to the site with ideas, inspiration and information on where to buy these beautiful, authentic Irish products. 

About the individual brands currently featured in the Design Ireland® store at Dublin Airport

The 23 Design Ireland® brands selected by Aer Rianta International the initial collection at Dublin Airport are:

  1. CHUPI – The multi-award winning fashion forward jewellery brand in Dublin founded by designer Chupi Sweetman.
  2. CRIOSTAL NA RINNE – The hand-cut classic crystal studio based in the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht na nDéise in Co. Waterford, run by Eamonn Terry, a classically trained master glasscutter at Waterford Crystal.
  3. DEBBIE MILLINGTON DESIGNS A producer of richly coloured silk scarves by an Irish fashion designer who worked in Hollywood costume departments (Star Wars and Moulin Rouge), based in Dublin.
  4. EMBLEM WEAVERS – a linen-weaving family business based in Co. Wexford famous for its yarn-dyed fabrics which grace international fashion catwalks including French luxe house Hermes, Burberry and London-based Irish designer Paul Costelloe, run by the Conway family.
  5. ENIBAS – Cork-based German designer Sabine Lenz uses the Irish language to design motivational jewellery which is engraved with phrases as gaeilge such as ‘Croí álainn’ (a beautiful heart) or ‘Lean do bhrionglóid’ (follow your dream).
  6. FAUNA KIDS - Gorgeous screen-printed, ethically sourced gifts and clothing for babies using organic fabrics and eco inks, established by Nadia Cruikshanks and based in Dublin.
  7. HANNA HATS OF DONEGAL – A Donegal-based family business established in 1924, now run by Eleanor, Amanda Jane and John Patrick Hanna, producing hats using Irish tweeds and linens in its classic and contemporary designs.
  8. INNER ISLAND – Co. Wexford-based traditional goldsmith Gemma O’Leary makes modern jewellery for women, with fans including actress Saoirse Ronan, writer and influencer Sinead Burke and comedian Aisling Bea.
  9. JANDO – Award-winning printmaking studio established by Dublin-based husband and wife team Julie and Owen McLoughlin, with strong graphics and a playful use of colour in their hand-drawn illustrations of Irish landmarks. 
  10. JUVI – Dublin-based husband and wife jewellery design team Julie Danz and Vincent Tynan specialising in semi-precious stones sourced from across the world.
  11. MARTINA HAMILTON – A Sligo-based fine art-trained jeweller whose work is inspired by Yeats and by the Wild Atlantic Way.
  12. MARTINA SCOTT - A textile artist whose limited edition fine art prints illustrate her surroundings in Carlingford, Co. Louth at the foot of the Cooley Mountains.
  13. MCCONNELL WOOLLEN MILLS - Beautiful woollens from one of Ireland’s foremost knitwear designers Anne McConnell who grew up learning the craft of Aran sweaters and has contemporised this skill to make covetable menswear and womenswear in beautiful soft shades that reflect the local landscape of Killaloe, Co. Clare.
  14. MCKERNAN – A textile firm specialising in contemporary scarves combining German engineering and Irish traditions in cool fashion colours run by Co. Clare-based Irish husband and German wife textile team Eugene and Anke McKernan.
  15. MCNUTT OF DONEGAL – A north west Donegal heritage weaver on the Wild Atlantic Way whose fabrics have graced Paris and Milan catwalks, run by William McNutt.
  16. MODERN BOTANY – A natural and organic skincare brand inspired by the principles of botanical science and headquartered in Schull, West Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way, set up by John Murray and Dr. Simon Jackson, who is a pharmacognosist with expert knowledge in medicinal plants.
  17. MOURNE TEXTILES – a family-run master weavers nestled at the foot of the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down that has worked with Robin Day, Conran, Sybil Connelly and Margaret Howell, weaving blankets, cushions, scarves, tableware and rugs, run by Karen Hay-Edie and her son Mario Sierra.
  18. RATHBORNES 1488  – The world’s oldest candle maker (Founded in Dublin in 1488) producing luxury hand-poured contemporary home fragrances to indulge the senses, capturing the spirit of Ireland with a luxuriously modern edge, run by Vincent Brady and his wife Siobhan Kehoe.
  19. RED RUFUS – Covetable contemporary soft toys from Co. Dublin made from socks using traditional sewing and crafting techniques, established by Christina Sanne.
  20. ROS DUKE – Luxury, high fashion light-as-air cashmere collection focusing on originality and sustainability established by Dublin-based Ros Duke who trained under John Rocha and Lainey Keogh.
  21. SCRIBBLE & STONE – A Dublin-based jewellery brand with a contemporary edge, established by Jenny Kiernan.
  22. STUDIO DONEGAL – Artisan woollen mill based in the village of Kilcar on the Wild Atlantic Way making world-renowned Donegal tweed, run by Tristan Donaghy.
  23. YVONNE RYAN – A vintage-influenced Dublin-based jeweller making everyday pieces which can be personalised.