Shoppers from the Republic of Ireland cross the border in search of bargains in Belfast.

With a return ticket costing £6, the arrival of coaches ferrying shoppers from Dublin to Belfast are a common sight in Glengall Street. The coachloads of passengers are joined by other day trippers from the Republic of Ireland who have travelled to Belfast by car or by train.

On arrival in Belfast, many shoppers head directly to Argos where long queues are a daily feature. Dublin’s loss is Belfast’s gain. Traders in the north have been making an effort to attract shoppers from south of the border. This trade is estimated to be worth three hundred million pounds sterling in 1984.

With so much cash leaving the Republic of Ireland, border towns have launched campaigns to try and keep customers shopping locally. However many shoppers believe they are getting good value by making the trip to Belfast and are unconcerned that  jobs may be lost by not spending at home.

One day-tripper who is delighted with her haul of Belfast bargains says people would not have to go north if the traders in Dublin lowered their prices,

People don’t want to come up here from Dublin, but it’s worth their while so they come.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 December 1984. The reporter is Michael Fisher.