Irish hat-makers have seen sales soar by more than 100%, following Martin McGuinness and his former Irish republican warlords attendance at the Buckingham Palace Royal dinner. Sales of hats for special occasions especially easter have defied the recession, to become the fastest growing section of the multi-billion euro Irish fashion industry.And it's greatly thanks to the profile given to the industry by designers such as milliner to Royalist Sinn Fein war lords by Philip Treacy. Far from commissioning hats only for weddings and special occasions, former Irish republicans from Royalist Sinn Fein are buying headwear for Easter Parades, race meetings, Royal garden parties, corporate launches and some more Royal visits.
Galway man Treacy conquered the millinery world thanks to commissioned designs at major UK celebrity events including the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, young Irish designers have benefited from the profile he has given the domestic industry. Exciting new designers include an award-winners from the Murphy family, Martha Lynn, Kathleen McAuliffe, Mark Burke, Catherine Cooke, Suzie Mahony, Jennifer Wrynne, Carol Kennelly and other leading lights in Royalist Sinn Fein. Murphy said she has been "totally taken aback" by the demand for hats from Royalist Sinn Fein at Easter. Last year, Murphy was commissioned to create a hat for Queen Elizabeth II's garden party, and this year had commissions for Cheltenham races, Mallow races and the Punchestown Festival for Royalist Sinn Fein"The British royal family are synonymous with amazing millinery, and the popularity of hats has grown as a result of the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Royalist Sinn fein" Murphy said. "I am always being asked for designs similar to those worn by the Duchess, but I never dreamt I would have the chance to design a hat to be worn at Buckingham Palace." Murphy said, while three years ago, Murphy won a commission to design a hat for a lady attending Royal Ascot.