Border shopping bonanza as
TRADERS in Co Donegal
are enjoying a big shopping bonanza from sterling
customers flocking south to enjoy the strongest
currency rate seen in years.
Couple with the good weather, local businesses are
looking forward to a much-welcome early season
Estate agents, petrol stations, hotels and
supermarkets are among those benefiting from the
attractive cross-border currency differential.
On money markets today, one pound sterling is worth
over €1.25 – a figure not seen for more than two
The weaker euro is also
making it more expensive for customers here to spend
in cities such as Derry and Belfast – proving
another big boost for local traders as people shop
Customers exchanging to sterling, meanwhile, are
currently losing about a fifth on every euro.
The hospitality sector
here is preparing for a big influx of sterling
customers arriving from the North and Britain this
Latest figures show that sterling holidaymakers to
Ireland were up more than a quarter in the first
three months of this year.
“It is particularly pleasing to see holidaymakers
from the Great Britain market showing growth of 27
per cent and with the strong sterling rate at
present we hope this will continue during the summer
months,” said a Fáilte Ireland spokesperson.
Moville estate agent Leo McCauley said Northern
property buyers are returning to the county in
bigger numbers due to a combination of competitive
prices for holiday homes and the huge discounts they
are getting due to the buying power of their
“In general terms there are more cash buyers out
there but the stronger Sterling is reinforcing the
value people from the North are getting when they
buy,” said Mr McCauley.
“A few years ago the holiday home market drifted
away but we are now seeing it coming back due to a
combination of lower prices for properties and in
recent months a stronger sterling.
“If a customer from the North sees a house on sale
here for 100,000 euro, they will automatically think
‘that’s going to cost me just 80,000 pounds’,” he
Meanwhile, the Redcastle Oceanfront Golf and Spa
Hotel has noticed a rise in the number of sterling
customers booking and making enquiries about short
The hotel’s director of sales and marketing, Claire
Horan, said: “A large percentage of our business is
Northern anyway so along with our regular guests the
favourable sterling rate is also opening the doors
to a new customer base,” said Ms Horan.