The cost of a Christmas turkey has risen by as much as four pence a pound, but is still considered good value for money.

When compared to 1971, turkey prices are up by as much as five pence to ten pence a pound. But farmers say they had to pay more to rear them, the young turkeys were dear and so was their food. The butchers however are blaming the price rise on the recently introduced Value Added Tax (VAT).

According to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, over 800,000 turkeys were produced in 1972, the same as in the previous year.

In Dublin city centre, a cock costs 26 pence a pound with a hen costing 34 pence a pound. In the suburbs , a cock costs 26 pence a pound and a hen 35 pence.

A firm that auctions turkeys in Dublin handled 2,500 fewer birds than expected because dealers did not bring as many turkeys. This scarcity may have been due to the higher prices being paid at country markets.

The wholesale price was four pence a pound 20-24 pence for cocks and 28-32 pence for hens, a rise of about four pence per pound.

Reports received around the country by the Department of Agriculture indicated that in general cocks were making from 17- 25 pence a pound and hens from 22-36.

But even at the higher prices turkeys are well worth the money considering the high price of red meat.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 December 1972. The reporter is Tom McCaughren.