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Thursday 23 January 2020

Snug fit: Schmidt's secret weapon to stay warm on bench - possum fur shoe liners

Possum posse: Elizabeth McGuinness, of Kiwi Country Clothing, wearing a possum merino poncho and ex-Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt wearing a possum merino sweater.
photo: Mark Condren
Possum posse: Elizabeth McGuinness, of Kiwi Country Clothing, wearing a possum merino poncho and ex-Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt wearing a possum merino sweater. photo: Mark Condren
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Sports coaches have a shimmy dance they do on the sidelines to keep warm.

Former Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt, on the other hand, had a secret weapon, all the way from his native New Zealand - shoe liners made from possum fur.

In New Zealand, possums are regarded as a pest because they destroy native forests and they are culled to protect wildlife.

An industry sprang up using the fur in cold and wet weather clothing, but it has moved into the health sector where it is now in demand from people suffering from arthritis and bad circulation.

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Elizabeth McGuinness, of Kiwi Country Clothing, has been spearheading the benefits of possum fur since returning to her native Co Monaghan, having lived in New Zealand.

"We are now supplying possum products into numerous hospitals in Ireland for people who have suffered trauma to their hands or feet and GPs regularly refer patients for socks and gloves," she said.

Kiwi Country Clothing have a Christmas pop-up shop on 18 South Anne Street, Dublin until December 23.

  • For more information, visit https://www.kiwicountryclothing.ie/

Irish Independent

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