Imported footwear and clothing threatening the livelihoods of Irish designers and manufacturers.

The importation of cheap shoes and clothes into Ireland, particularly from countries outside the European Economic Community (EEC) such as South Korea and Taiwan, where there is cheap labour, is becoming a concern for Irish workers and factory owners alike.

Managing director of Tylers Shoes Mr Hardy stated that apart from EEC countries, the amount of Taiwanese goods in stock is about 3%. He adds that in 1973 they bought about 163,000 pairs of Irish shoes.

Saxone checked with their head office in Leicester in the United Kingdom, but refused to comment on the amount of imports they stock. Similarly, nobody in Penneys was available for comment.

Ben Dunne of Dunnes stores said they do not buy footwear from Korea and 85% of merchandise in Dunnes is manufactured in Ireland.

Only for Dunnes Stores the cost of living in this country would be 10% higher.

It is not just a case of buying Irish, an Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU) survey says that stores also have to order Irish and sell Irish goods. Factory owners in Ireland need to sell hard to Irish buyers. As for consumers,

If the price and quality is right can he or she afford to bypass dresses, blouses, suits made in Britain the US, Czechoslovakia or increasingly South Korea?

The ITGWU conducted a survey in six stores in Dublin carrying out spot checks to see the amount of foreign and Irish goods on display. They looked at dresses, blouses, skirts, trousers, coats and suits and 100 items checked by the survey.

On Henry Street in Dublin 44 foreign made garments were found in Arnotts and 45 in Roches Stores. In Clerys Department Store in O’Connell Street, 48 items were foreign. Dunnes Stores had 55 items made in foreign parts. On Grafton Street, Switzers had 96 garments were made outside Ireland and in Brown Thomas, 98 of the 100 items checked were non Irish goods.

A 'Seven Days' report broadcast on 29 November 1974. The reporters are Michael Ryan, Nicholas Coffey and Brendan O'Brien.