A general strike in Northern Ireland to oppose the Sunningdale Agreement brings an unexpected but welcome boost in trade to Dundalk.
There are queues outside petrol stations in Dundalk as people cross the border to stock up on fuel and food supplies which have been seriously hit by the Ulster Workers' Council strike in Northern Ireland. The general strike was in protest at the power sharing Sunningdale Agreement.
One man who has come from Portadown in County Armagh discovered that all of the filling stations along the way were either sold out of petrol, or closed for business. Before returning home, he plans to purchase food supplies in Dundalk. He also wants to buy a gas container to cook on if the emergency lasts into the next week.
Another man interviewed discovered there was no petrol at all in Newry and was told by a friend that the only place to get it was Dundalk. He will keep making trips to Dundalk if the strike continues.
A man from County Down who has driven to Dundalk with his family says the situation is,
Very bad at the moment, very bad, there is no petrol at all anywhere.
He drove a sixteen mile radius around Banbridge in search of petrol and calculates he travelled about twenty six miles to buy petrol across the border in Dundalk. He will also do some grocery shopping before returning home.
A Dundalk supermarket manager is benefiting from the Loyalist strike as there is a discernible increase in Northern Irish shoppers.
We think that with perishable foods and that being short in the north that they are coming here to buy them.
His supermarket was unprepared for the heightened demand for supplies, but he is confident they will be ready to meet the need.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 May 1974.