If you look at the top souvenirs you should bring back with you from Ireland, you'll find the Claddagh ring (which I have had for four years now), lace, linen, tweed, Waterford crystal, and at the very top of the list is the Aran Sweater.
The sweaters are available all over Ireland, but they originated in the small Aran Islands off the Galway bay as a means of distinguishing clans of fisherman who went out at sea. The pattern work in these are complex and handed down in families for generations. However, with the island being so isolated, the art of making the sweaters are only known now by only a handful of skilled knitters on the island. Thus, making the sweaters (from the islands) very rare.
When my class took a field trip to Inisheer, I made sure to check out the only little shop on the island. There my class of 36 wiped the shelves clean and made the shop keeper a very happy man. I was so glad to get my hands on one and even happier that the sweater had a clever design with the side button.
I love having this warm and comfy sweater. I'm going to have fun reading my books for class and pretending I'm drinking tea (when in actuality it's probably water in a tea cup) in this. If you're digging this sweater, but live elsewhere Aran Sweater Market is a good place to get these types of sweaters.