BUILDERS is stocking up on cheap cans in the North and selling them to colleagues on Dublin construction sites – when minimum unit prices kick in.
Unlicensed border boss Joseph Goodwill revealed his clients are making 70 euros by selecting special cases of beer and delivering them to work on Monday morning.
Retailer Co Armagh told the Irish Sun: “They don’t even look at the shopping list, they just come and buy what’s on offer – like Coors and Heineken – and they take it down and sell it.
“They are starting the day with €50 or €60 extra in their pocket before they start the workday. It’s a little extra money for them. Where there is money, the son will always be clever.”
The number going across the border to buy cheap alcohol from places as far away as Cork and Limerick has grown by as much as 20% since then. MUP was introduced, according to local estimates.
“They’ll buy beer and everything else,” warned Gavin Hearty, a Dundalk shopkeeper who feels pinched south of the border.
It was warned before the controversial measure was introduced here in early January that people would go north to hoard.
And many are now looking for ways to make money – with some even advertising in Dublin newspapers for the huge price difference.
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Mr Goodwill of Camlough, Hughes’s unlicensed director, revealed a beer seller has spent almost €1,000 on about 30 pieces of beer since the minimum unit price went into effect in the Republic of Ireland.
“It is still early days but I would say that in the near future there will be about 15 to 20 percent increase in customer base,” he said. I imagine that would increase as we approach St. Patrick’s Day, a bank holiday, or when we advertise an offer. “
First and last license holder Seamus McNamee of Jonesborough, Co Armagh, said people traveling to buy beer were a “double prize” for the Irish Government as more people would also buy regular food from the Irish government. they are there.
He told the Irish Sun: “The only downside at the moment is the exchange rate – but even if the exchange rate is lower there is huge savings to buy alcohol.
SAVE ON SLABS
“Up to €15 can be saved on some slabs of beer, and so can some spirits.
“As St Patrick’s Day and Easter arrive, I think there will be unprecedented cross-border shopping demand.”
Meanwhile, south of the border, one person’s gain is another’s pain.
Gavin Hearty, who owns Costcutters in Dundalk, told us: “It needs to be introduced in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at the same time because all we are doing is helping to collect taxes in the north. We’re directing everyone north.
“Every unlicensed business along the border actively advertises for people to buy their beer there and makes it clear that they don’t have a MUP.
“People don’t go up there just to buy their beer. They would go to the supermarket to pick up their bread and milk and whatever else.
“All we’re doing is taking away the tax that should have been paid to the Irish Government – but it’s going across the border instead. That has a big impact on us when it comes to trying to pay our employees.
North release date
“Just this week, we didn’t see two of our regular customers because they went up there and into a large store to buy beer. But while on it, they also decided to buy regular food.
“They are customers that we see three or four times a week. They haven’t been to the store in a week. ”
Joseph agrees: “People come and they make a day out of it.
“So it not only helps with licensing, but it also helps local shops because they also get attention from it. People will also go to Newry because if you go this far, how much extra 10 minutes?
“You’ll go shopping at Currys, B&M Bargains and then you can go out for a bit of lunch. So it’s not just the drink money that comes out of the Irish economy, but all the rest. It has a stimulating effect.”
Ireland becomes one of the few countries worldwide to introduce legal floor prices for the cost of alcoholic beverages, is now determined by the amount of pure alcohol in the drink.
BOOZE SHOPPING LIST
The aim is to prevent cheap, hard liquor from harming young people due to “affordable prices”.
Northern Ireland would have joined us, but it is only at the consultation stage of the process. Joseph said he has seen people in his store who have traveled as far as Limerick with shopping lists from their friends.
He added: “For a January it’s been very busy and we just expect it to be busier and busier. People are coming to buy beers and ciders and they are buying them at the counter.
“When people spot someone going north, they call their mates and say, ‘Will you get me a drink?’ So those 30 stones could be divided among four boys and those from further afield like Limerick would also divide it. The manager has also directed several social media campaigns to encourage people to make the trip north.
“We know people are traveling north so we just mark the difference and we put it in black and white – like, ‘Here’s what we got,’” he explains. this is what you’re saving, why not think of it?’.
“At the end of the day, people are always coming, we just want to get our name out there. If there’s an opportunity to make money there, that’s the business idea – you need to do it.”
Mr McNamee acknowledges that a minimum unit price will eventually be introduced in the north and explains: “It will happen in Northern Ireland as well when the boys from Stormont come together.
“But, in the meantime, if there is cross-border trade, surely why not? We offer euro change, we have a Visa euro machine on site. ”
Shop assistant Chloe McArdle jokes about the influx of new customers: “There are always so many different accents in the store, it’s getting harder and harder to understand what people are saying!”
According to the CSO, the average household traveling across borders spends €65 on alcohol, while estimates suggest that seven percent of all drinks consumed in the Republic were purchased there – even before when the MUP comes in.
In total, we spend 510 million euros per year on cross-border alcohol.
While Ireland is still struggling with its drinks problem – the Government wants us to reduce our consumption from 11 liters of pure alcohol per person to 9.1 liters per year – we are now drinking less than before.
Alcohol consumption tripled to 14.3 liters of pure alcohol per person between 1960 and 2001, but has declined since then. In 2018, that number was 11 liters.
We drink 6.6% less alcohol per capita in 2020, with pubs closed for most of the year.
Meanwhile, Mr Hearty of Dundalk recognizes the good intentions of the scheme and says he is not going to try and ignore it – like several others in different parts of the country.
“What the Government is trying to do, believe it or not, is in the interest of health,” Mr. Hearty said.
“Should they wait until the north does it? Sure.
“Is there a tax here? Sure.
“But I think those intentions are good – it’s just badly executed.”
https://www.thesun.ie/money/8267851/inside-builders-secret-border-booze-cheap-alcohol/ Inside the ale at the secret border of Irish builders running to cash in crates of high discounts for mates