Paul Walker from Anti-Dismal left a comment on my post about foreign ownership saying:
I do wonder what people think overseas owners are going to do with the land, dig it up and take it back overseas???
He’s right in context of the debate about foreign ownership but it reminded me that some enterprising Irishmen are not only digging up their earth and sending it overseas, they’re making money from it.
The Auld Sod Export Company sells Irish dirt to ex-pats and their descendents so they can have a little piece of Ireland wherever they are in the world.
Uses for the dirt are many and varied:
Official Irish dirt products serve a wide array of purposes. Everything from growing your own shamrocks, to wedding gifts, to paying respect at a loved one’s funeral. Irish Dirt aims to bring a piece of the old country straight to you, directly from the Emerald Isle.
Like all good entrepreneurs the company likes to add value so once you’ve got the real Irish dirt, the they’ll sell you shamrock seeds to plant in it.
The International Herald Tribune reports:
An 87-year-old lawyer in Manhattan originally from Galway recently bought $100,000 worth of the dirt to fill in his yet-undug American grave. A native of County Cork spent $148,000 on seven tons to spread under the house he was having built. “He said he wanted a house built on Irish soil so he can feel like he is home in old Ireland when he walked around his house in Massachusetts,” Burke said. Neither man wanted his name mentioned for fear of seeming eccentric or foolish.
Since Auld Sod’s Web site, officialirishdirt.com, went online in November, Burke said, he has shipped roughly $2 million worth to the United States, where about 40 million people claim Irish ancestry and Enterprise Ireland estimates annual sales of Irish gifts at more than $200 million.
I don’t think it was an Irishman who said, “Where there’s muck there’s money,” but this company is showing where there’s dirt there’s dollars.