Dun Laoghaire to Phibsborough – The Charity Shop Hunt.

September 30, 2014 – Style

…When my humming was smothered by the 46A,
And the scream of a low flying jet.
So, I jumped on a bus to Dun Laoghaire,
Stopping off to pick up my guitar,
When a drunk on a bus told me how to get rich,
I was glad we weren’t going too far…

Who knew Bagatelle would be writing the song for the future? Sarah spending all her money in the name of research!

Well, here I am, back to delve deeper into Dublin’s endless trove of charity shops and show you just what you can expect to find in the labyrinth that is the charity shops of Dun Laoghaire and Phibsborough.

Outside of my well trodden ‘charity shopping route‘, these two areas are my favourite for a day of treasure hunting elbow deep in other people’s prematurely discarded possessions. So gals (and guys) let’s get shopping!

First on my hit list was Dun Laoghaire, stopping into this shop below which, I have to admit, I usually pass up if I am on any sort of time constraint as it just looks so bloody shabby. On this occasion though, I threw caution to the wind in the name of research and headed in.

Inside is a cluttered chaos of what initially appears to be crap but, on further inspection, this place actually shows potential of throwing out a few decent gunas and perhaps shouldn’t be passed up as hastily as I suggested.


Next on the tour is trusty Vincent’s, one of my personal faves in terms of consistency when it comes to Dublin’s charity shops. They have great vintage sections and elegant sections for the extra- fancy items.

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On this occasion our good pal Vincent didn’t let us down, producing a plethora of goodies including vintage statement jackets, a Blarney wax jacket and Micheal Kors dresses to name but a few.

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Feeling the buzz that can only legally be gotten from a good bargain, I move swiftly on to the next; Barnardos.

They generally have decent stock and are worth a visit. On this occasion you could certainly say that as I dug up a beautiful soft leather vintage bag, a oh-so-90’s cropped GAP denim jacket a ‘so naff it has to be cool’ Versace shirt.

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If you still have some energy for a rummage, head straight to the ICA just down the road. This is the most stream-lined of all charity shop chains in Dublin. They are always stocked with a wide variety for every taste and age group. This one is no exception & houses some delightful additions to any wardrobe.

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Right beside that institution is the NCIB which always strikes as abundantly built but with little content. Perhaps the stock is so good that they can’t keep the shelves lined? If my experience of this branch is anything to go by, that’s definitely not the reason. Worth popping into if your appetite has yet to be sufficiently satisfied but, not likely to turn out too many gems for you.

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After that comes Oxfam from where you can always expect decent stock and a certain level of cleanliness.

The Oxfam chain never lets you down for a browse but always seem to be pretty fruitless in the end, akin to falling asleep in the warm arms of a strapping man only to wake up to the harsh reality of a cold bed & a post-it note.

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On that unmelodious note, it may be time to make a strong drink and come with me to the next adventure. I will have you home before supper, I promise.

Phibsborough’s charity shops are a trove of goodness and seem a little more prudently priced than those of town or other areas. The shops are clustered around a cross roads so you can have them all ticked off in less than an hour if you are impartial to the formidable charity shops musk.

The ICA is up first; this branch is packed to the brim with homeware, clothing and a great vintage section. I don’t think I have ever left this one empty handed so it is well worth ticking off.

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Just a stone’s throw away is the Irish deaf society shop, this can be very hit and miss but, if you find anything it will likely cost less than 4 quid so, get in there and start looking.

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After that is Enable Ireland. This shop usually turns up a few top-notch prices and should not be overlooked. The stock turns over really quickly and they have a well displayed selection of just about everything.

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Next, and just across the road if your weary legs can carry you, is Aware. This shop has a great plus-size section and seems to specialise in evening dresses, that of which they have a bountiful amount of. They often do half price sales making those bargains even more ridiculously priced.

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Another Oxfam is lurking right around the corner and it was here that 3 more prize-finds showed up to finish off this whirlwind charity shop romance; A vintage A-wear suede jacket, a pair of classic Levi 501’s, ya just can’t beat ’em, and a stunning beaded vintage top which would sell for upwards of €60 in a vintage store, this whole outfit cost less than that.

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If you are in need of some refuelling after all of that hard graft, there is always Phibsborough’s Kung Fu Asian buffet to finish off your day in so wrong but so right style.

I must note that Phibsborough also has a cohort of ‘not charity shops but kinda charity shops’ type places. They all have some vague reference to ‘second hand goods’ outside the shop but you will find very little of such once inside. They seem to be operating under that premise to sell fake Nike’s & Russian hats, you may be into that kind of thing but we might leave that for another post.
Until then, it has been a pleasure shopping with you.

Words & Photography : icomeundone

Sarah shared her city centre charity shop route with us before.