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IWA Shop Offers So Much More Than Charity

Published 12 months ago 29th August 2021 by Caitriona Kenny

The Irish Wheelchair Association, IWA charity shop opened in 2016, five years ago, on the Main street in Tipperary town with the obvious intention to raise money for this vital organisation. But as time has passed and times have changed, the shop has become so much more to the community of Tipperary Town and hinterland.

Josie Toomey began working at the IWA charity when it opened. Originally an Emly woman, she now lives in Oola and is one of the warm, welcoming faces of this community hub.

Offering a warm welcome and a bit of chat IWA Charity Shop workers Irene Robson and Josie Toomey

“We’ve certainly noticed a difference in the amount of people coming into the shop with a lot more in the last year. I feel this is down to a few things including low employment in the town, shops closing and also people tell us how expensive things have become in the retail shops. People are excellent at bringing in items for the shop and donating goods and we find that if someone buys something and it doesn’t fit that they bring it into us rather than taking it back to exchange it.”

Josie’s colleague Irene Robson has been living in Tipperary for twenty years and has been working at the IWA Charity shop for two years. “People come here for a chat and a social interaction. It’s an outlet for

people, somewhere they can come for a bit of company. For example, an 86-year-old lady comes here every Friday to see us and enjoy the banter in the shop. It’s very social. Another regular visitor is a farmer from out the country who comes in every week for a book. He enjoys a coffee at Flanagan’s restaurant next door and then he visits us.” The generosity of people here is great. We receive a lot of new items because people are shopping on-line and they’re not sending it back, so they bring it in here with the tags still on them.”

With Tipperary town going through a major transition with different groups and organizations working to improve the town, what would help Tipperary town for the future?

“The people of Tipperary are so generous, and they like to give because they are good people. The other day a lady brought in a bag of coins that totalled €60. Tipperary town needs a factory to get the town back on its feet. I used to work in Pal and the town was booming then,” added Josie.

The IWA charity shop is open 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday. All proceeds from the shop are invested into the range of essential services and support programmes

provided by IWA to people with physical disabilities and others with mobility impairments living in Tipperary Town and the surrounding areas.

The shop accepts donations from the general public and local businesses that wish to

donate, pre-loved items of clothes, furniture, books or bric-a-brac.
To contact the Tipperary Town IWA shop ring: 087 115 6708 and for more information about the IWA’s range of services visit www. or email

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