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Shop offers credit note for value of €47 slab of beer to shoppers who buy €30 of plastic glasses in protest at minimum price laws

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Slabs of beer on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork

Slabs of beer on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork

Plastic glasses on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork, for €30 - customers can then claim a credit note for €43.34

Plastic glasses on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork, for €30 - customers can then claim a credit note for €43.34

Colm O'Sullivan, owner of Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork

Colm O'Sullivan, owner of Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork

A mop and bucket on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

A mop and bucket on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

A vacuum cleaner on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

A vacuum cleaner on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

Slabs of cider on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

Slabs of cider on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

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Slabs of beer on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork

A supermarket owner has reacted to the big jump in the price of beer following the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing with a promotion for customers.

Sam’s Gala in Dunmanway, Co Cork, is offering customers a credit note for the value of a €47 slab of beer when they buy €30 of plastic glasses.

However, shoppers are not tied to buying a slab of cans with the €47.34 credit note – they can also redeem it against the price of other products sold in the shop - such as a vacuum cleaner or a mop.

Sam's Gala is offering customers 24 plastic glasses for €30 and in return they will receive a credit note to the value of €47.34 which can be then redeemed according to strict terms and conditions which can be viewed in store.

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Plastic glasses on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork, for €30 - customers can then claim a credit note for €43.34

Plastic glasses on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork, for €30 - customers can then claim a credit note for €43.34

Plastic glasses on sale in Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork, for €30 - customers can then claim a credit note for €43.34

In just two hours on Tuesday night, the shop’s post on Facebook was seen by 168,000 people and store owner Colm O'Sullivan has received a massive reaction from people reacting to the newly introduced minimum alcohol pricing which has sent beer and cider prices soaring.

"I've already been called a hero, asked to run for election and likened to my Irish hero of all time - Michael Collins - and it's only been two hours since the offer was posted," said Colm on Tuesday evening.

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Colm O'Sullivan, owner of Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork

Colm O'Sullivan, owner of Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork

Colm O'Sullivan, owner of Sam's Gala in Dunmanay, Co Cork

"I haven't sold one single slab of beer all week since the minimum alcohol pricing came into effect and in two hours, I have sold nine slabs and even a mop," he laughed.

"I suppose it's one way to get rid of all these post-Christmas plastic glasses we have in stock.

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"In the last few months, people were told the price of whiskey and other spirits would increase a lot and you wouldn't be able to buy a bottle of wine for less than €7 but the huge hike to cans of beer wasn't really mooted in my mind.

"Ahead of the New Year, I sat down and studied the legislation and did the maths. And did the maths again because I couldn't believe the astronomical change in the price of a crate of beer from €26 to €47.

"As far as I'm concerned, I reread the legislation and I am not breaking any law in offering a credit note with every sale of 24 plastic glasses. I have strict and lengthy terms and conditions in store which have to be adhered to when redeeming the offer

"The law states that vouchers can't be used to buy alcohol but there is no mention of credit notes and I'm not in any way associating this promotion with alcohol solely as other products are on offer too.

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A mop and bucket on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

A mop and bucket on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

A mop and bucket on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

"This increase in prices in alcohol goes directly to the retailer and I'm not proud of that so I see this as my way of giving it back by offering value in a range of products.”

Mr O’Sullivan added: "We're not sucking it up, the hoover does that and we always try to mop up prices here as much as we can.

"It's all a bit of craic and that makes the day enjoyable. It's also keeping 31 staff in a job and I have to say, being likened to my absolute Irish hero of all times, Michael Collins, did bring a tear to my eye.”

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A vacuum cleaner on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

A vacuum cleaner on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

A vacuum cleaner on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

Minimum unit alcohol pricing came into effect in Ireland last week as a public health measure meant to deter problem drinking, with a minimum price of 10 cent per gramme of alcohol under the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018.

It means an average bottle of wine cannot be sold for under €7.40, while a can of beer costs at least €1.70.

A bottle of vodka or gin now costs a minimum of €20.70, while whiskey now costs at least €22.

Ireland has joined the likes of Scotland, Wales, the Russian Federation and parts of Australia and Canada introducing the move.

Scotland was the first in Europe to introduce it in 2018, followed by Wales in 2020.

Reaction on Facebook to the Sam’s Gala promotion has been overwhelming, with comments such as: "Brilliant. Someone deserves a bonus for this idea' and 'I think I might return the plastic glasses right after I'm done too in case someone else needs them.’”

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Slabs of cider on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

Slabs of cider on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

Slabs of cider on sale in Sam's Gala for €47.34

"Store of the year right here, Sam ya legend," said another, while one person said: “Brace yourselves, you're about to become the most famous shop in Ireland."

Others even commented on the great value of the mops for a bit of New Year spring cleaning.


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