Around 3,000 people passed through the doors of IKEA in its first hour of trading in Ballymun, Dublin this morning.
The Swedish home furnishings giant opened its doors at 11am after an official log-cutting ceremony.
The long-awaited opening of the store had been delayed as the Swedish company was forced to meet strict conditions attached to its planning permission. It can open only at 11am from Sunday to Friday and at 10am on Saturdays and must charge for car parking in the evenings - the only IKEA store in Europe to do so.
The store manager Garry Deakin admitted that there was a time when he thought the store would never open. The opening of the store has created 470 jobs - but just 70 of those went to people from the local area.
The first shopper through the doors was a mother of three boys from Shankill, Catherine Velton, who had won a competition for a room makeover.