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Shopping in Newry

Fair play to President Mary McAleese. We needed someone in high office to break the trope that there’s reason to question the patriotism of those who travel up North to go shopping, in some sort of pretence that they are a factor in our continuing economic trouble.

She spoke on RTÉ (Conversations at the Áras at 14m 25s) this morning, praising the choice Irish consumers have about where they shop as members of the European Union.

We did not become successful when we were by having an insular outlook, nor did any country. If no one was to shop up North, the primary effect would be to hurt the household budgets of families here.

Rather than being envious at the custom of business in other jurisdiction, we should take this as a signal to lower costs here. Without that, we won’t become competitive, and can’t expect to recover as we should.

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