AN Ireland international soccer star and his wife were among the throngs of Christmas shoppers eagerly crowding Dublin's streets.
Stephen Kelly and Helga Simmonson-Kelly, both from Dublin, jetted back to the capital earlier this week to enjoy a short break from their London home.
The pair were spotted buying Christmas presents for their nieces and nephews. "Hopefully I'll get a chance to get home and actually give the presents," said Stephen, whose club Fulham have an English Premier League match on St Stephen's Day.
They said the atmosphere in Dublin was better than in London where Christmas decorations are yet to go up.
Also out enjoying the atmosphere were Ian O'Farrell (25) and Melissa Johnston (27), from Tallaght, Co Dublin, with their one-year-old son Charlie.
"There's no point in crying about the Budget, it could have been worse," said Ian, as he carried bags of toys for his son.
However, the Budget was in the minds of Jeryl Brady (48) and her daughter Katelyn (18), from Beaumont, as they searched for the best deals along Grafton Street.
"We're going to have to cut down a bit for this Christmas, so we're looking for bargains," explained Jeryl.