Thursday, October 29, 2009

At least the price of drink is coming down

Letterkenny publican cutting the price of drink to counter lower prices across the border in an attempt to keep the punters coming across the border (and probably to stop the locals going across the border):

Hugh McGee is cutting the price of Guinness by about 20pc at his bars and hotels in Letterkenny to keep customers coming across the border from the North after the euro's surge against the pound.

McGee reduced the price for a beer this month to €3.50 at his hostelries after the pound's 12pc drop against the euro in the past year led customers from the North to stay home.

"We can't devalue, but our neighbour can and has, and left us high and dry," he said, adding sterling is a "huge" problem. "You've got to try and keep the Northerners coming."

Consumers are heading north in search of cheaper food and televisions, UK tourist numbers are sinking, and exporters such as food company Kerry Group and C&C, the maker of Bulmers cider, are suffering in their largest European market.

"It's nothing but bad news to Irish exporters," said Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers in Dublin. "Sterling is a bigger negative force than in any other euro-region country. It's certainly something we could do without."

Last time I was in Derry (about 4 years ago) I was out drinking with friends and was surprised how much cheaper it was compared to Donegal Town (and ye could still smoke in the pubs then too). I was surprised no-one had started doing a package deal with a bed for the night, a bus to bring ye to Derry and pushing the cheaper drink.

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